June 28, 2019

Cassidy Defends Coastal Restoration Funding

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), during a recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, defended the use of offshore energy revenue sharing funds that support Louisiana’s coastalrestoration efforts. He also stated his serious concerns with a bill being considered by the committee that would divert unobligated revenue sharing funds to other federal projects.

Cassidy pointed out that states receive only a 37.5 percent share of revenues from energy produced offshore compared to states that receive 50 percent from production on land. Legislation diverting unobligated funds would limit any future ability to increase resources for Louisiana coastal restoration. 

“If you’re on federal lands, then you get [sic] 51% of the royalties that derive from that well, but if you are on a coastal state, which currently is the gulf coast, but with your case may soon be wind, then royalty is capped at 37.5%,” said Dr. Cassidy in response to Senator King (R-ME). “My concern is I’d like to have increased revenue for your state if there is wind being generated off your state, or for my state for the consequences of that offshore exploration.”

A part of Cassidy’s remarks are transcribed below: 

Cassidy: I can’t help but notice that the solution is to take offshore revenue that’s principally generated from the Western and Central Gulf, and to spread it around the rest of the country. I feel a little bit like the turkey on Thanksgiving Day – and I say that because that cannibalizes the ability of Gulf Coast states to repair their coastlines.

We’ve seen consequences of those coastlines being in disrepair, hurricanes Katrina and Rita were great examples, and to the degree that we lose in Louisiana marshland, and we’re losing an incredible amount, we’ve lost something more than the state of Delaware, is the degree to which my cities become more vulnerable.

To put simply, one mile of marshland takes a Cat 5 hurricane to a Cat 4, and the second mile to a Cat 3 and the third mile to a Cat 2 – and to the degree that we have a google map which shows green, and yet I know when I’m out there on a boat, that that land is no longer there, but rather has subsided, is a marker of the risk to my state.