WASHINGTON, DC – Louisiana Congressmen Cedric Richmond and Garret Graves introduced legislation in the House of Representatives today that would boost the share of offshore energy revenues for Gulf Coast states, providing a substantial increase in funding for Louisiana’s coastal restoration and flood protection projects.
“Louisiana is battling the largest historical, ongoing and prospective loss of coastal wetlands we’ve ever seen, and it’s a national crisis. Diverting Louisiana’s energy revenues away from efforts to improve the resiliency of the people, communities and ecosystems responsible for generating the resources in the first place is a fundamentally flawed approach to addressing the maintenance backlog in national parks,” said Graves. “Our bill ensures that these increased revenues will be committed to projects that restore the coast, protect our coastal communities from hurricanes and other disaster and, ultimately, reduce our nation’s outrageous disaster response costs.”
H.R. 3814 is a bipartisan bill that amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act 2006 (GOMESA) to bring Gulf offshore energy revenue sharing closer to parity with onshore energy producing states – an effort long pursued by Louisiana’s congressional delegation. The legislation was originally introduced last Congress by Rep. Graves and was advanced out the House Committee on Natural Resources last September.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of national and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – issued the following statement in response:
“Our nation’s public lands, waters, and wildlife urgently need improved stewardship and additional funding support. It is important that coastal producing states are also well-equipped to ensure the sustainability of coastal communities and ecosystems. Land loss in Louisiana is a truly existential crisis for the communities and wildlife that rely on this vital coastal ecosystem. With a comprehensive coastal restoration plan in place and projects underway, Louisiana needs the resources to address this crisis for the generations to come. We appreciate the focus Congressman Richmond and Congressman Graves have brought to this issue and their leadership in working for the future of Louisiana’s coast.”
For nearly a century federal law has discriminated against coastal energy producing states. While states producing energy onshore federal lands get to retain 50 percent of the energy revenues, coastal states have received a small fraction. H.R. 3814 solves this problem.
Energy production in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for 18% of total U.S. crude oil production and 4% of total U.S. dry production of natural gas. In 2016 alone, this production generated $2.7 billion in royalty revenue for the U.S. Treasury. Of that amount, only 0.407% ($11 million) was given back to those states through revenue sharing programs.