June 23, 2021

What They Are Saying: Growing Support for Cassidy Bill to Strengthen Gulf Revenue Sharing Program

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act with nine colleaugues. 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.

Here’s what people are saying: 

U.S. Senators:

  • Dr. Cassidy: “Glad to see growing support around the RISEE Act. I can speak from firsthand experience in terms of relative sea-level rise, Louisiana has been hit worse than anybody. This helps Louisiana and other states as they copy what we’re doing now with offshore energy revenues to rebuild our coastline and protect our communities.” 
  • Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS): “Mississippi is rich in natural resources, and our state is a proud contributor to the nation’s energy independence. This legislation would ensure Gulf Coast States receive a fair share of energy revenues generated off our shores, so that we can continue to make investments necessary to protect and preserve our coasts for future generations.”
  • Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS): “Gulf Coast states like Mississippi deserve their fair share of offshore energy revenues. This legislation would set more equitable revenue shares for Mississippi through GOMESA and future offshore wind projects.  This would increase our state’s ability to use those resources for coastal restoration, hurricane protection, or infrastructure.”
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): “Rising sea levels pose serious threats to New Hampshire’s coastal communities, from disrupting businesses like fisheries to eroding beaches and threatening neighborhoods. It’s only getting worse as climate change intensifies. We need federal investments to safeguard these communities and restore coastal ecosystems, which is why I’m cosponsoring a bill to dedicate resources from offshore wind energy production. I’ll continue working across bipartisan lines in the Senate to invest in the resilience of coastal communities on the frontlines of climate change.”
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): “Virginia’s shorelines are an important economic engine for the Commonwealth and we must address the threats they face as a result of climate change. I am glad to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to establish targeted streams of funding from offshore wind development to protect Virginia’s coastal infrastructure for years to come. I’ll continue to be a strong advocate for offshore wind and other renewable energy development for the Commonwealth.”
  • Senator Whitehouse: “With climate change bearing down on us, coastal states like Rhode Island need vastly more resources to protect vulnerable homes and businesses from rising seas and other increasingly urgent threats. Our bill will allow states to get a share of federal revenues from the growing offshore wind industry to make those much-needed investments.” 
  • Senator Chris Coons (D-DE): “As the state with the lowest average elevation in the country, Delaware is especially vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise. This legislation will provide critical funding for coastal states like Delaware to invest in projects to protect against the growing impacts of climate change.”

Louisiana Leaders and Governments: 

  • Assumption Parish Policy Jury: “Be it resolved that the Assumption Parish Police Jury does hereby approve and support the introduction and creation of the RISEE Act.”
  • Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Chip Kline: “Dedicated, reliable funding streams not only allow for good projects today, but provide the foundation for a program of well-planned, pre-disaster investments in coastal resilience. With coastal adaptation needs growing across Louisiana, it is not a moment too soon to revisit federal impact assistance from energy production in the Gulf. Other states with energy and mineral development on federal land face no cap and share 50% of the revenues produced, and Gulf-producing states deserve no less. In the near future as we see offshore wind energy production in the waters off Louisiana we hope that those projects can provide us clean power, good jobs, and additional revenues to support a more resilient coast. I want to thank Senators Cassidy and Whitehouse for championing this cause and for doing it in a way that has drawn widespread support from across the political spectrum. I hope that the diversity of endorsements for this bill is an indication to the rest of Congress and the Biden Administration that this is a worthy, and much-needed cause.”
  • House Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee: “I would like to express my strong support of the RISEE Act of 2021… because of the impact it would not only have to my district/parish but our entire state, I whole heartedly support this legislation.”
  • Appropriations Chairman Jerome “Zee” Zeringue: “Please accept this my letter of support for your Reinvesting in America’s Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems Act. I appreciate all you do to protect Louisiana’s shoreline.”
  • Northshore Legislative Delegation: “The Louisiana Northshore Delegation would like to thank you for your leadership on coastal restoration funding and to share our support for the RISEE Act… Thank you for your continued dedication to the citizens of the Northshore parishes and the great state of Louisiana.”
  • Cameron Parish Police Jury President Scott Trahan: “The RISEE Act provides a huge benefit for coastal Louisiana and its focus on reducing the impact of coastal erosion, storm surge, and restoring the natural beauty of the Louisiana coast… Your continued efforts are appreciated as we work to achieve GOMESA improvements for coastal Louisiana both economically and environmentally.”
  • Iberia Parish Government: “Louisiana and Iberia Parish are committed to the protection and restoration of our coast and strongly support the RISEE Act and its contributions to that essential cause.”
  • Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson: “Express support for the RISEE Act, which would ensure that our state and local parishes would have a funding stream to implement crucial coastal restoration, infrastructure, and protection projects.”
  • Parish Presidents of Louisiana Association and Parishes Advocating for Coastal Endurance: “Thank you for your leadership on coastal restoration funding and to share our support for the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act.”
  • St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis: “Thank you for your advocacy and leadership on this important funding matter for Louisiana, St. Bernard Parish, and other affected states and communities that would benefit from the RISEE Act’s passage.”
  • St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard: “This creative policy is an outstanding opportunity to leverage offshore energy activities into protection and restoration for Louisiana’s coast, and you have my full support… I firmly believe that successful adoption of the RISEE Act will help St. John the Baptist Parish and its coastal neighbors better protect and preserve more natural resources in the future.”
  • St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper: “We would like to thank you for your leadership and offer our full support for the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems Act, which would create a revenue-sharing model for offshore wind revenues and reform the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act… It is important to the residents of Louisiana and St. Tammany Parish that our delegation work towards achieving our fair share of the roughly $5 billion produced off our shores every year.”

Louisiana Organizations:

  • Bayou Industrial Group: “BIG supports your RISEE Act of 2021 provisions and other efforts that would provide more equitable sharing of GOMESA royalty revenue for Louisiana… The revenue-sharing provisions in the RISEE Act provide us with this valuable opportunity, but a healthy and productive offshore oil and gas industry is required to generate the royalty revenue needed if we are to succeed in fulfilling Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.”
  • Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District: “BLFWD understands all too well how critical offshore energy revenue sharing programs are when it comes to funding critical coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects in Louisiana… BLFWD stands ready to support your efforts to move this critical piece of legislation forward.”
  • Cameron Parish Port, Harbor & Terminal District: “Our Port District understands that without the RISEE Act the dedicated streams of funding so desperately needed for coastal infrastructure and resiliency may not be realized in time to save, in my opinion, our nation’s most previous resource.”
  • Chenier Plain Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority: “The Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority supports U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)’s legislation regarding the RISEE Act. The recent storms of 2020 devastated Southwest Louisiana and funding is needed more than ever to restore our shorelines and preserve the marshes of Southwest LA.”
  • Coast Builders Coalition Executive Director Scott Kirkpatick: “Senator Cassidy’s continued efforts to promote a working coast are admirable. This is a bill that takes care of our coastline as well as the people working along the coast.”
  • Greater New Orleans, Inc: “We are in support of the RISEE Act… As economic development and business leaders in Southeast Louisiana, we are deeply invested in measures that create more revenue for the sustainability of vital aspects of our economy, such as coastal resiliency.”
  • Jefferson Chamber of Commerce: “On behalf of the Jefferson Chamber which represents business interests in the largest parish in the New Orleans Region, I write to you today to offer support for your efforts on behalf of Louisiana as we seek parity in revenue sharing from our national resources…. We celebrate your efforts to achieve a more equitable resource sharing between the states and federal conservation programs, while simultaneously fighting to capture the revenues generated from offshore wind leases and production… We support the passage of the RISEE legislation, as its current posture truly captures present and future opportunities to foster economic development through offshore wind and coastal restoration and protection.”
  • LA 1 Coalition: “The LA 1 Coalition appreciates you and Senator Whitehouse introducing the RISEE Act.”
  • Lafourche Chamber of Commerce: “RISEE would allow us to continue to work, live and play in this place we call home, and would allow us to continue to thrive.”
  • Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association: “Thank you for your introduction of the RISEE Act to increase dedicated revenue for coastal restoration in Gulf states. LMOGA represents the entire oil and gas industry in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Oil and gas production supports 1 in 9 jobs in Louisiana, 26% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product, and the intricate web of energy infrastructure that has sustained an outsized portion, 20% today, of our nation’s energy demand for decades. Importantly, our energy production in the GOM directly funds our state’s coastal programs to combat our coastal land loss and harden our communities from catastrophic hurricanes, a benefit strengthened under the RISEE Act.”
  • Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District: “South Louisiana communities need strong coastal restoration and hurricane protection programs with the funding to back those programs in order to respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, to restore coastal habitat and to make improvements to coastal infrastructure. The RISEE Act will provide for those needs.”
  • Morganza Action Coalition: “Besides the benefits to several import sector economies in Louisiana, growing leases which contribute to revenue sharing, whether from oil & gas revenues or from wind-energy producing revenues, benefit our federal government because it will provide funds to the U.S. Treasury and it will protect national assets of our country’s most productive seafood estuaries.”
  • Nicholls State University: “I want to commend you for spearheading this effort to increase funding for coastal restoration and conservation… The RISEE Act of 2021 is crucial for Coastal Louisiana.”
  • North Lafourche Levee District: “GOMESA reform and offshore wind revenue sharing opportunities in the RISEE Act would supple that funds that allow our region and state to continue building levee projects, drainage systems and wetland restoration projects in order to preserve our coast, communities, and culture for generations to come. We support the RISEE Act and urge you to continue fighting for a fair share of OCS revenues and offshore wind revenue sharing opportunities.”
  • Plaquemines Association of Business & Industry Executive Director Robert Thomas: “Louisiana’s federal delegation worked for many years to create the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). These funds are vital to the coastal restoration efforts of Louisiana and coastal parishes like Plaquemines. Funds are needed to maintain Louisiana’s working coast where much of the nation’s energy and seafood originate. The Plaquemines Association of Business and Industry (PABI) encourages the continuation of a fair and equitable 37.5 percent of the lease revenues being shared with the state, as is being advocated by Senators Bill Cassidy and Sheldon Whitehouse.”
  • Pontchartrain Restoration Program: “On behalf of all of us who call southeast Louisiana home, thank you very much for your steadfast support to improve the health of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin and your ongoing efforts to save Louisiana’s coast… I heartily support your proposed RISEE Act… the potential benefits from RISEE are much more than just saving our coast. Most significant will be the long-term sustainability/resiliency of many coastal cities/communities, industries, infrastructure, and economies.”
  • Ports Association of Louisiana: “PAL understands that without the RISEE Act the dedicated streams of funding so desperately needed for coastal infrastructure and resiliency may not be realized in time to save our nation’s most precious resource.”
  • Port of Lake Charles: “The Port of Lake Charles strongly supports the RISEE Act to establish funding for further coastal infrastructure and resiliency.”
  • Restore or Retreat: “To safeguard these coastal investments, through overwhelming support of the voters of Louisiana, our state requires revenues derived from traditional energy sources be spent to restore and protect our coast and coastal infrastructure, and RISEE would allow us to not only increase our current coastal investments, but also have a greater stake in establishing new investments through offshore wind leases, which we are well suited to design, build, and maintain here in the Bayou Region.”
  • River Region Chamber of Commerce: “We are in support of the RISEE Act as well as reform of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act… we believe RISEE allows an opportunity to foster growth and prosperity to economic development through offshore wind and coastal restoration and protection.”
  • South Central Industrial Association: “We write in support of the RISEE Act… establishing investments like those outlined in the RISEE Act is foundational to implementing Louisiana’s Comprehensive Coastal Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which aims to protect our communities, businesses, and vibrant culture.”
  • St. Tammany Corporation: “We celebrate your efforts to achieve a more equitable resource sharing between the states and federal conservation programs while simultaneously fighting to capture the revenues generated from offshore wind leases and production. We believe that there is no better time to ensure parity for Louisiana and increased funds for our coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects and infrastructure improvements.” 

National Organizations: 

  • American Sportfishing Association President Glenn Hughes: “Recreational fishing is a powerful economic engine for coastal communities all around the country. The RISEE Act will direct funding to promote the health and resiliency of our coastal resources. The sportfishing industry is grateful to Sens. Whitehouse and Cassidy for their leadership on this important issue.”
  • Coastal States Organization Executive Director Derek Brockbank: “The Coastal States Organization is pleased to support the RISEE Act. Revenue from offshore wind energy will play an increasingly critical role in funding coastal resilience, and the RISEE Act ensures coastal states and communities benefit from expanded offshore wind development. Furthermore, the RISEE Act increases the percentage of revenue from all offshore energy production going to coastal States, Territories and Tribes, and to coastal communities through a competitive grant process. In an era of rising seas and increasing coastal hazards, state and local coastal managers need all the federal support they can get to manage their coastline for multiple uses, the RISEE Act gives them that support.”
  • Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Executive Director Heather Reams: “The Reinvesting in America’s Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act promotes all-of-the-above energy solutions—advancing our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. Thank you to Senators Bill Cassidy and Sheldon Whitehouse for their leadership in introducing this commonsense bill that also provides funds to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on coastal communities dealing with erosion and sea level rise and promotes more offshore wind farms.”
  • Environmental Defense Fund Senior Vice President for Political Affairs Elizabeth Gore: “We are pleased to see this bipartisan legislation begin to fill an immense need to help coastal communities prepare for the climate threats that are already here and worsening. We need to act now, before the next disaster, to reduce these risks and invest in solutions that build healthy, thriving coasts for all communities. Not only will these investments reduce risks to people and property, but they will also reduce the cost of future disasters. Senators Whitehouse and Cassidy, representing two coastal states, know all too well what’s at stake from storms and sea level rise, and we stand ready to work with them and others to move this important legislation forward.”
  • National Audubon Society Interim Chief Conservation Officer Sarah Greenberger: “It’s important to restore our coasts not only to solve our climate crisis, but to also protect communities in harm’s way. When we restore coastal habitats like wetlands, they can absorb flood waters and carbon dioxide more effectively, lessening the impacts of storms, while acting as an important tool to curb climate emissions.”
  • The Nature Conservancy North American Policy and Government Relations Director Kameran Onley: “The RISEE Act is a recognition that our coastal communities need more support, and that nature can – and must—be part of the solution. Investments in nature can not only improve the resilience of coastal communities’ infrastructure, they can provide incredible economic, environmental and societal benefits. By supplementing and complementing existing programs with additional resources, the RISEE Act would fund the solutions communities sorely need. We look forward to working with members of Congress to advance this legislation.”
  • National Marine Manufacturers Association: “[T]hank you for your leadership in championing the Reinvesting in America’s Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act to dedicate additional revenue streams towards funding coastal infrastructure and resiliency… Specifically, NMMA supports the RISEE Act proposal to diversify federal conservation funding by dedicating a portion of offshore wind revenue to coastal resiliency investments.”
  • National Ocean industries Association President Erik Milito: “The RISEE Act further connects the dots between responsible offshore energy development and environmental stewardship and coastal restoration and resiliency. By strengthening existing revenue sharing under GOMESA and creating new revenue sharing for states adjacent to future offshore wind projects, more coastal residents and conservation programs can benefit from dedicated sources of funding for critical projects. Whether it is through coastal restoration, hurricane protection, infrastructure improvement, or through countless other benefits, offshore energy development enables equity for our coastal communities. NOIA applauds Senator Cassidy and Senator Whitehouse for their bipartisan initiative on such an important issue.”
  • National Wildlife Federation President & CEO Collin O’Mara: “As we prepare for another above-average hurricane season, we desperately need to invest in restoring and boosting resilience of the wetlands, dunes, and other natural defenses that safeguard coastal communities and ecosystems. We applaud Senator Whitehouse and Senator Cassidy for their tireless leadership to help ensure that coastal states receive the resources necessary to restore coastal and marine habitat, boost community resilience, and recover fish and wildlife populations.”

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