Louisiana Reps. Cedric Richmond and Garret Graves today introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would increase the share of offshore energy revenues for Gulf Coast states, potentially providing a funding boost for Louisiana’s coastal restoration and flood protection projects.
The bill, HR3814, amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act 2006 to bring Gulf offshore energy revenue sharing closer to parity with onshore energy producing states—an effort long pursued by Louisiana’s congressional delegation, according to Graves’ office. The legislation was first introduced last year by Graves, and was sent to committee before stalling.
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 a statement supporting the legislation.
States that produce energy on federal lands currently retain 50% of the energy revenues, but coastal states producing energy offshore receive a smaller percentage of revenues, which the bill looks to change.
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, this production generated $2.7 billion in royalty revenue for the U.S. Treasury. Of that amount, less than one percent was given back to Gulf States through revenue sharing programs, Graves’ office says.