WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released the following statement ahead of passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act, clearing the way for a future Senate floor vote on revenue sharing:
“I thank Senator Nelson for dropping his hold—finally allowing the energy bill to move forward and positioning my revenue sharing amendment to receive a vote on the Senate floor. Leader McConnell and Chairman Murkowski’s commitment to revenue sharing is a big win for Louisiana and fellow coastal states.
“By law, money from revenue sharing goes towards rebuilding a healthy coast. Strengthening Louisiana’s coastline not only keeps our economy strong and families safe from future storm surge—but it’s also critical to protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure. One fourth of our nation’s energy supply depends on the support facilities in South Louisiana.
“In fiscal year 2015, the federal government received $4.9 billion in royalties from crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, while the coastal states who supply the energy infrastructure only received $2.4 million—.05 percent. To put this in perspective, states who produce energy onshore get 50 percent of the royalties. Revenue sharing is not only about fairness, it is about Louisiana’s survival and American energy security.”
Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski and cosponsor of the bipartisan amendment offered the following statement:
“As I have demonstrated in the energy committee over the past year, I am firmly committed to advancing revenue sharing because it will ensure that Alaska and other states benefit from resource production off their shores. We have worked hard throughout this Congress to build a strong, growing, and bipartisan coalition in support of it. While we could not agree to a vote on revenue sharing on the energy bill, that was simply one option among many that are available to us. I thank Senator Cassidy for his leadership and will work alongside him, Leader McConnell, and other members to vote on revenue sharing in the Senate before this year ends.”
Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson refused to let the Energy bill move forward because of the Cassidy amendment, despite the fact that the amendment has nothing to do with Florida. Senator Nelson previously supported revenue sharing by voting for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act in 2006.
The revenue sharing amendment was introduced by Dr. Cassidy alongside Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) to bring greater equity in revenue sharing for the Gulf states by lifting the GOMESA revenue sharing cap, while allowing Mid-Atlantic states and Alaska to share in future revenue from offshore energy production.
Revenue Sharing Amendment:
Provides greater equity in revenue sharing for states that host offshore energy production by lifting the GOMESA revenue sharing cap for Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, from $500 million to $999 million from 2027 to 2031. It is estimated that Gulf States would receive an additional $1.87 billion.
Establishes revenue sharing to Mid-Atlantic states (VA, NC, SC, GA). The states will receive 37.5% from 2027 to 2031. It directs 12.5% of federal treasury revenues generated in the Mid-Atlantic states to:
4.2% to energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear programs at the Department of Energy
4.2% to National Park Service for deferred maintenance
4.2% to the Secretary of Transportation to administer and award TIGER discretionary grants
Alaska will receive 37.5% of royalties while directing 12.5% of federal treasury revenues to a new Tribal Resilience Program. The state money will be distributed in the following manner:
28% to State of Alaska
7.5% to coastal political subdivisions
2% to the Denali Commission
Read the amendment here.