Six coastal governors come out in support of OCS Revenue Sharing

By Phaedra Friend Troy

On Thursday, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu proposed a revenue sharing amendment to the OCS Reform Act (S. 917) to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“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 proposed amendment would allow coastal states to get a portion of the revenue generated by offshore energy production, including oil and gas development, wind power and hydrokinetic operations, starting in 2019.

In support of the legislation, six coastal governors have teamed to request revenue sharing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), sending the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources a letter to urge legislation to support the effort.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell sent a group letter to New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman and Senator Murkowki in support of legislation to allow revenue sharing.

“If a responsible portion of the vast revenues from offshore generation and production are returned to our states, we would be far better prepared to mitigate the resulting risks and impacts,” the coalition wrote the committee’s chairman and ranking member.

According to the governors, states that allow offshore energy development run into increased costs to meet heightened infrastructure demands.

“This is an equitable bargain, wherein the states that choose to pursue development receive a deserved portion of its rewards," the letter continued. "In the absence of revenue sharing, it is possible that some coastal states could limit their offshore energy production, or even use their powers under existing federal laws to deny the rest of the nation access to the vast resources in the OCS."

The letter pointed out that landlocked states already receive revenues from onshore energy development 

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