Gulf Coast States Receive $188 Million for Conservation and Storm Prep
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Department will disburse almost $188 million to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, and their coastal political subdivisions (CPS). This represents the first disbursement under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA). The funds are derived from qualified oil and gas leasing revenues on the Outer Continental Shelf, and disbursed in accordance with the revenue-sharing provisions of the GOMESA legislation.
“Under President Trump’s America-First energy strategy, we’ve increased energy revenue by a billion dollars nationally in the first year alone, which creates more funding for important conservation projects in the Gulf” said Secretary Zinke. “Offshore energy production means less oil needed from foreign countries and more jobs for the American people. This $188 million will be dedicated to coastal restoration and other projects important to many communities in the Gulf.”
“The people of Louisiana have waited for over ten years for Phase II of GOMESA to begin and for our state to start receiving a larger portion of the revenues derived off of our coast,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “This revenue stream is one we have planned our coastal program around, and we are happy to finally be able to put it to use to help address our land loss crisis. A healthy coast is absolutely essential to a healthy oil and gas industry in Louisiana, as well as our economy overall. The dedication of these funds to address our coastal issues is the smartest investment we can make.”
“More of Louisiana’s coast disappears every day,” said Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-LA). “I am glad to finally see these GOMESA dollars coming in. This money will help us restore our beautiful coast so that we can continue to provide oil, natural gas, and seafood to the rest of the nation. We need every penny that we can get to fight coastal erosion and protect our coastal communities. As the oil industry becomes more robust, I expect this revenue to increase even more.”
“This funding will help restore and protect Louisiana’s coasts, and thanks to the tax reform law we passed, our state stands to receive tens of millions of dollars more for these important projects,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA). “I thank Secretary Zinke for his leadership and support of GOMESA, which will make a difference in Louisiana for generations to come.”
“We have been waiting for this day for a long time. The effort to get a fair share of offshore energy revenues dates back many decades and every penny of these funds announced today will be invested in urgent coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts to protect our communities and economy,” said Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA). “Having helped draft and negotiate this law as a staffer years ago, it is especially satisfying to start to see many years of work finally pay off.”
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