WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement upon the Department of the Interior’s announcement that the State of Louisiana will receive $124.6 million, in addition to $31.1 million for its Costal Political Subdivisions, in revenue sharing funding as required by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA):
“This GOMESA funding is great news for Louisiana’s coast, and I applaud the Trump Administration for their ongoing support for offshore energy exploration and production and revenue sharing with the Gulf states. In Louisiana, these funds are dedicated to coastal restoration and hurricane protection, and we know our coastline is the first line of defense from powerful Gulf storms, making today’s announcement excellent news for Southeast Louisiana families and communities.
“While this is welcome news, it’s also a reminder that Gulf states still lag behind the interior states who get 50% of revenues from all energy leases, compared to Gulf states who receive 37.5% of only certain leases. I’ll continue fighting to increase Gulf states’ revenue share to finally provide parity with the interior states.
“I applaud the Trump Administration for recognizing the urgency and necessary investments needed to protect Louisiana’s coastline, and for their continued support of American energy dominance in the Gulf of Mexico, which allows us to restore our coast and protect families and small businesses from future storms, as well as protecting the vital infrastructure important to our entire nation.”
GOMESA provides for the sharing of revenue generated from energy development in the Gulf of Mexico with four states – Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. In Louisiana, these funds are dedicated to coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects. The $155.7 million in total funding Louisiana and its subdivisions will receive in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, as well as the $353 million allocated to the Gulf Coast states, represents a 64 percent increase compared to FY2018 funding.
While the increase in funds is certainly welcome, FY2019 funding highlights the limitations to what Gulf Coast states receive and the dissimilar treatment of revenue from offshore and onshore energy development. In addition to the disparity in percentage and eligible leases, the funds Gulf Coast states receive from offshore energy development is capped. FY2019 was the first year that Gulf Coast states hit that cap and were not able to receive the maximum amount of funds allowed by their 37.5 percent share. Revenue disbursed to interior states from onshore energy development does not share that same restriction.