US senators from four southern Mid-Atlantic coastal states asked Energy and Natural Resources Committee leaders to consider comparable federal Outer Continental Shelf revenue sharing for oil and gas activity off their shores to what four US Gulf Coast states now receive.
The US Department of the Interior included a Mid-Atlantic lease sale in its draft proposed 2017-22 OCS management program, the senators said in their Apr. 7 letter to committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and ranking minority member Maria E. Cantwell (D-Wash.).
“We strongly believe that offshore energy and revenue sharing go hand-in-hand, and that any legislation considered by the committee should reflect that view,” the two Democrats and six Republicans said.
They said energy exploration and development can diversify their states’ economies and create jobs while reducing US reliance on foreign suppliers.
The 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act authorized federal OCS oil and gas revenue shares for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas initially at 37.5%, with another 12.5% distributed directly to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. A second phase would cap revenue shares for the four states and LWCF distributions at $500 million/year starting in fiscal 2017.
“Our states want the opportunity to create new jobs, generate new revenue, and make the US more energy-secure,” the senators said in their letter. “As you work to develop energy legislation in the 114th Congress, we would appreciate the committee’s consideration of revenue sharing so that Mid- and South-Atlantic states are provided a fair revenue share alongside Gulf Coast states.”
Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-GA.) signed the letter. Warner and Kaine included a revenue sharing provision when they introduced a bill in 2013 to restore an OCS lease sale off Virginia’s coast which had been dropped from the 2012-17 program following the 2010 Macondo deepwater well blowout and crude oil spill (OGJ Online, May 23, 2013).
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