Murkowski: Safety, Production, Revenue Sharing must be Addressed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today expressed optimism that the Energy Committee would soon reach agreement on a proposal to allow coastal states to retain a responsible share of federal offshore energy revenues, and simultaneously advance legislation on better safety and increased energy production. 

“We must recognize the importance of putting safety and the nation’s need for greater energy production together,” Murkowski said. “Our shared goal is to have safe production.”

Video of Murkowski talking about the importance of offshore safety and production together is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T33TT0tY3oE

Sens. Murkowski and Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, offered a revenue sharing amendment to the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act (S. 917) during Thursday’s committee markup meeting. While several members on the committee spoke in favor of the concept of revenue sharing, the committee lost its quorum and the proposal was not voted on.

“Today’s markup demonstrated bipartisan support for equitable revenue sharing for coastal energy-producing states,” Murkowski said. “We’ll keep working to fine-tune the language and reach agreement on a plan that’s acceptable to our members”

Video of Sens. Landrieu and Murkowski talking about the importance of revenue sharing for coastal states is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9gjyaUoXdE 

Murkowski vowed to dedicate the coming days to working with members of the committee from both parties on refining revenue sharing language to include funding for renewable energy projects at the state level. Murkowski said once that was accomplished, she would hope the markup could be rescheduled as soon as possible so the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act and revenue sharing could be voted on by the full committee.

“Those who understand the importance of inviting coastal states to be partners in our efforts to increase the nation’s energy security are not going to let this issue go away,” Murkowski said. “It is in our best interest to have American workers producing American energy, and revenue sharing will help us reach that goal.”

The Landrieu-Murkowski revenue sharing amendment would allow coastal states to retain a portion of the revenues generated by energy production in federal waters, beginning in 2019. It would apply to all forms of energy production, from oil and gas to wind and hydrokinetic. Murkowski’s new language would create a coastal state clean energy fund with 12.5 percent of the overall federal revenue from offshore production.

While a vote on revenue sharing was postponed, the committee did approve today the Oil and Gas Facilitation Act (S. 916), which included several provisions beneficial to Alaska oil and natural gas projects.