February 9, 2023

Cassidy, Whitehouse Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen Revenue Sharing Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced the bicameral and bipartisan Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act. The RISEE Act would both amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and create a new dedicated stream of funding from future offshore wind development for coastal protection and resiliency. This will allow for more equitable resource sharing between states, the federal government and conservation programs. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Angus King (I-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have signed on as original co-sponsors. House companion legislation will be introduced by Representatives Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07), Nancy Mace (R-SC-01), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Don Davis (D-NC-01), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA-16). 

“The RISEE Act moved through the Senate Energy Committee with strong bipartisan support last Congress, and we look forward to seeing the same momentum this time around,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill takes the lessons that Louisiana has learned to strengthen our coasts, adds more funding, and serves as a model for other coastal states.” 

“Coastal states like Rhode Island need far more resources to protect homes and businesses from rising seas and other increasingly severe climate threats,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Our bipartisan bill will allow states to get a share of federal revenues from the growing offshore wind industry to make needed investments in resiliency.” 

“Along the Texas Gulf Coast, we know all too well the devastating impacts of flooding and disasters as well as the way that visionary projects can help protect our communities,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “The RISEE Act will help make it possible for us to invest in these vital coastal protection projects by giving states a portion of the revenue generated from offshore wind and energy projects, providing incentive for future projects.  I am glad to partner with Representatives Davis, Weber, Eshoo, Mace, and Spanberger to reintroduce this legislation in the House and with Senators Whitehouse and Cassidy in the Senate to protect our communities, our ecosystems, and our economy.” 

“The Texas Gulf Coast is home to millions of people, countless homes and jobs, and numerous refineries. The RISEE Act would advance critical restoration and resilience projects to ensure our coastline has the necessary investments to help protect against future storms,” said Representative Weber. “This is vital for the Gulf Coast region and our nation.” 

Gulf of Mexico energy royalties are shared by four Gulf energy producing states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas), the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s state-side program, and the U.S. Treasury.

The bill amends GOMESA by:

  • Eliminating the state revenue sharing cap, currently at $375 million.
  • Lifting the Land & Water Conservation Fund’s state-side funding cap of $125 million.

Louisiana constitutionally dedicates revenues from offshore energy production to pay for conservation, restoration, and environmental projects to preserve and restore its eroding coastline.

Current law requires all revenues generated from offshore wind leases and production beyond state waters be deposited in the U.S. Treasury. The RISEE Act sends 37.5% of offshore wind revenue to adjacent states where offshore wind farms are developed. The state share is based on a formula developed by the Secretary of Interior to ensure states are receiving revenues from wind energy development off their coasts. By sharing offshore wind revenues with nearby states, the RISEE Act will invest in coastal protection and restoration.  

The state funds can be used:

  • For coastal restoration, hurricane protection, or infrastructure;
  • To mitigate damage to fish, wildlife, or other natural resources, including through fisheries science and research; and
  • To implement a marine, coastal, or conservation management plan.

In addition, 12.5% of offshore wind revenues would serve as a further dedicated funding source for the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund. This Fund includes dollars to States based on a formula and also provides competitive grants to coastal and Great Lakes communities to respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, restore coastal habitat, and make improvements to coastal infrastructure.

The RISEE Act was considered and passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Congress. 

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