Murkowski, Landrieu Call for U.S. Energy Policy that Increases Offshore Safety while Providing for Equitable Revenue Sharing & Economic Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, today issued the following comments in response to a report by President Obama’s National Oil Spill Commission that criticized Congress’ failure to pass legislation improving the regulation and safety of offshore drilling in the two years since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico:

“We understand some of the commission’s frustrations with Congress, and share its desire to ensure safe and responsible energy production,” Murkowski and Landrieu said. “Industry has undertaken a significant amount of safety reforms since the Deepwater Horizon spill and the Senate developed legislation last August codifying the changes requested by the administration. That bill, the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act, was referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee eight months ago.

“A bipartisan majority in the Energy Committee and the full Senate would be happy to pass commonsense legislation addressing new production, safety and a fair share of revenue for the affected states. Unfortunately, a small number of senators are opposed to engaging in a debate that includes revenue sharing.

“As representatives of coastal states that produce the energy Americans depend on, we feel new production and revenue sharing are integral to coastal states’ ability to develop and maintain emergency response capabilities and critical infrastructure while also protecting the environment. These are fundamental issues of equity and fairness that deserve Congress’ attention as part of any serious conversation about energy policy.

“We must acknowledge the essential relationship between safety and the nation’s need for greater energy production. Our shared goal is to have safe production, so we must consider the states that provide the airfields, docks, roads, navigation channels and other infrastructure that make offshore production possible. We believe it’s long past time we provide coastal states with a fair share of the revenue from oil and gas produced off their shores.”