February 2, 2015

Cassidy: Hands-Off GOMESA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. denounced the president’s proposal to strip Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states of revenue promised by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). The president’s Fiscal Year 2016 proposed budget would redirect the distribution of revenue payments from Gulf Coast states.

Dr. Cassidy released the following statement:

“The president’s proposal is a blueprint. A deeply flawed blueprint. The Senate Appropriations Committee finances the budget and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has oversight over any changes to GOMESA. I will do everything in my power to use my seats on these committees to not only block the President’s raid on oil and gas revenues, but fight to increase Louisiana’s share of offshore revenue. Funding for coastal restoration must remain a promise to Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.”

The U.S. Department of Interior budget justification states:

Reforms Federal Oil and Gas Management. Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue collected over $10 billion in 2014 from fees, royalties and other payments related to oil and gas development on public lands and waters. A number of studies by the Government Accountability Office and Interior’s Inspector General have found taxpayers could earn a better return through policy changes and more rigorous oversight. The budget proposes a package of legislative reforms to bolster administrative actions focused on advancing royalty reforms, encouraging diligent development of oil and gas leases, and improving revenue collection processes. The Administration is also committed to ensuring American taxpayers receive a fair return from the sale of public resources and benefit from the development of offshore energy resources owned by all Americans. The budget proposes to work with Congress to redirect the distribution of expanded revenue payments expected to start in 2018 for Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases to programs with broad natural resource, watershed and conservation benefits for the entire Nation, help the Federal Government fulfill its role of being a good neighbor to local communities, and support other national priorities. Collectively, these and other proposed revenue and savings proposals would save the Treasury $5.6 billion over ten years (page 6).

Read the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget proposal (Mandatory Cuts and Savings, page 88).