Landrieu Introduces 'FAIR Act' Revenue Sharing Legislation
Bill will lift $500 million a year cap on revenues kept by Gulf Coast states
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to introduce bipartisan legislation - the Fixing America's Inequities with Revenues (FAIR) Act - to ensure all energy producing states receive a fair share of the revenues they help produce.
While onshore producing states keep 50 percent of royalties, rents and bonuses bids; offshore producing states receive virtually nothing. In fact, if the FAIR Act had been enacted before today's lease sale in the Central Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Coast states would have received an estimated $400 million.
The FAIR Act aims to address this inequity by authorizing 37.5 percent of revenues for all offshore energy producing states, regardless the type of energy produced. States that produce renewable energy on federal lands within their borders would keep 50 percent of revenues, just as they currently do for traditional energy. It would also gradually lift the current congressionally mandated $500 million annual cap on revenues kept by Gulf Coast producing states. These funds will be an important investment in Louisiana's 50-year, $50 billion Coastal Master Plan to restore our coast and protect our communities from storm surges.
"For decades, coastal energy producing states have faced a glaring inequity in federal energy policy that allows onshore producing states to keep 50 percent of revenues, while offshore producing states, like Louisiana and Alaska, keep virtually nothing. This is about justice for the Gulf and jobs for America. We are losing our coast at the rate of 25 to 35 square miles a year, or about a football field each hour - a result of years of federal underfunding and neglect. The lack of investment over time has eroded not only our ability to protect ourselves and our coast, but also protect the nation. We run the largest river system in the country and we drain 40 percent of the continent. There is a fairer way to act, and that is why I'm joining with Sen. Lisa Murkowski to introduce bipartisan, commonsense legislation to ensure a fair share of revenues for all energy producing states," Sen. Landrieu said.
"Revenue sharing is important for the coastal communities that will have increased demands on their infrastructure and public services from offshore development. It's only fair that these communities share in the revenues from the resources produced off their shores - regardless of whether that is oil and gas or wind and tidal energy. I'm also excited at the potential of encouraging development of renewable energy projects onshore by expanding the existing revenue sharing program for onshore states," Sen. Murkowski said.
"I am proud to support the FAIR Act and its mission of expanding offshore revenue sharing with coastal states. Louisiana residents don't get enough credit for the energy independence that the nation now enjoys. Currently, more than 90 percent of the nation's offshore oil and gas is produced off of the Gulf Coast and 25 percent of America's foreign and domestic oil comes ashore on Louisiana roads and waterways. The FAIR Act will allow Louisiana and other states to make critical investments to protect their citizens while increasing America's energy independence. I look forward to introducing the FAIR Act in the House of Representatives very soon," Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., said.
The FAIR Act:
- Strengthens the partnerships between federal and state governments: Coastal energy producing states that produce any form of energy in the Outer Continental Shelf, whether oil, gas, or renewable wind or wave energy, will keep up to 37.5 percent of all revenues produced from that offshore energy production.
- Treats onshore renewable energy production equally: States that produce renewable energy onshore (solar, wind, etc.) on federal lands within their borders will keep 50 percent of the revenues from energy production to match the 50 percent already shared from oil, gas and coal production.
- Fixes inequity between coastal and interior energy producing states: Interior states currently keep 50 percent of the oil, natural gas and coal mineral payments (royalties, bonus and rentals) generated from energy production on federal lands within their states. However, coastal states keep virtually nothing. Alaska and the Atlantic Seaboard states have no partnership with the federal government to keep revenues generated from their offshore energy production that is produced for our nation.
- Lifts cap on GOMESA states, accelerates payments: The cap mandated by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act will be gradually lifted, and phase two of GOMESA will be accelerated to 2013.
View more information about how the FAIR Act would bring justice for Gulf states:
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