U.S. Dept of Interior disburses $215 million in energy revenues to Gulf States for coastal conservation, hurricane protection projects

WASHINGTON –  Last Friday, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) disbursed $214.9 million in FY 2018 energy revenues to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and their coastal political subdivisions (CPS) – an increase of $26.95 million or 14.3 percent over the prior year.

The funds from the second disbursement under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) will be used to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs, and activities to implement marine, coastal, or conservation management plans.

An Increase in Funding for States Across the Gulf

The Advocate: “Louisiana’s cut of the nearly $215 million in total GOMESA funding that’s being doled out this week is the largest among states that are part of the revenue-sharing pact, as Louisiana has more oil platforms off its coast than the other three states. Of Louisiana’s $94.7 million, about $75.8 million will go to state-level efforts. The remaining $18.9 million will go directly to 19 coastal parishes in amounts ranging from $582,000 to more than $1.8 million.”

The Times-Picayune: “[I]t will provide a shot in the arm for both state and parish restoration and flood projects awaiting funding. This is the second year Louisiana will get that larger percentage of GOMESA revenue, which comes from newer oil and gas production in the Gulf. Louisiana receives by far the greatest share of the nearly $215 million in Gulf revenue shared with states. Alabama will receive $30.6 million, Mississippi’s share is $31.7 million, and Texas will get $57.9 million.”

Sun Herald: “The U.S. Department of the Interior will spend more than $31 million in Mississippi for coastal conservation and hurricane protection projects… It will be used to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs and activities to implement conservation management plans. The disbursement for the Gulf oil and gas producing states is a 14 percent increase compared to last year.”

WXXV (Gulfport, MS NBC): “More money is coming to the Coast to restore coastal areas and marine resources, protecting our community from hurricanes… This year, Mississippi is expected to get $4 million more in federal royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling than in 2017. The state government is expected to receive $25.3 million. Jackson County and Harrison County will receive more than $2.5 million and Hancock County will receive $1.2 million.”

E&E News: “Four Gulf Coast states will receive nearly $215 million in energy revenues they helped generate in fiscal 2018, the Interior Department announced yesterday. That total — divvied up among Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas as part of the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act — is a 14.3% increase from last year’s $188 million disbursement under the law.”

Funding Critical Conservation and Infrastructure Projects

Daily Comet: “Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes will receive nearly $2.5 million combined from the latest round of oil revenue the federal government has sent to Louisiana to help save the state’s eroding coast… GOMESA, as it’s called, is a significant source of money for Louisiana’s $50 billion, 50-year coastal master plan. The collection of river diversions, wetlands rebuilding, levee work and other projects aim to deal with coastal erosion, rising seas, sinking land and hurricanes… The $18.9 million portion shared by coastal parishes is about $2 million greater than last year.”

Daily Iberian: “St. Mary Parish could have up to $11 million in hand by July, for infrastructure and hurricane protection improvements, thanks to the federal government’s GOMESA program… Henry ‘Bo’ LaGrange, the parish chief administrative officer, said that last year the parish received $750,000 in federal funds which were spent on small road projects. [I]n 2019, LaGrange said the parish will receive $833,000. He said he and St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff have identified 17 prospective projects that could benefit from the money.”

Banner-Tribune Daily Review: “St. Mary Parish is set to receive over $800,000 in federal energy revenues that parish leaders intend to use for drainage, hurricane projection, pumping and other infrastructure projects.”

Alabama Political Reporter“The State of Alabama will receive $24,476,087.60. Baldwin County will receive $2,751,485.44. Mobile County will receive $3,367,536.46. The total disbursement to Alabama is $30,595,109.50. GOMESA Phase-II disbursements will fund important coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection projects.”

What They’re Saying

“These funds will continue our efforts of years past to protect and enhance our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “This latest disbursement of revenue generated by offshore energy exploration, as part of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, will initiate projects that continue to grow our blue economy. I appreciate our Mississippi congressional delegation for their hard work in securing this funding.”

“As the United States cements itself as the global leader in energy, GOMESA is providing enhanced revenue to Texas’ coastal communities,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “This revenue will fund conservation, restoration and hurricane protection projects throughout the region and contribute to our mission of resiliency and disaster preparedness throughout Texas.”

“This funding is critical to our efforts to restore and protect our coast and will allow the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to construct hurricane protection and coastal restoration projects that will better protect our communities, help restore our coast, and make our state more resilient,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

“Mississippi plays a critical role in meeting our nation’s energy needs,” said Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. “This funding will ensure that the Gulf of Mexico’s energy revenue will be reinvested in our communities through conservation and restoration programs, enhancing our state’s natural resources.”

“Today’s announcement is welcome news for Louisiana families and communities. Revenues from oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico are vital to restoring our coast and protecting coastal communities, which is why I’ve fought to protect this revenue sharing from attempts to raid it,” said Congressman Steve Scalise (LA-01). “Through this revenue sharing, Louisiana will receive nearly $100 million to invest directly into vital coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects that provide greater security against strong Gulf storms and floods. American energy dominance will play an increasing role in the revenue sharing dollars coming to Louisiana, and I look forward to working with President Trump to support a robust energy strategy in the Gulf of Mexico which allows us to better protect the coast we love. I will also continue fighting every day to equalize the revenue sharing from offshore production with that from onshore drilling so that we can finally get our fair share of energy revenues generated off our coast.”

“This year, Louisiana will receive more than $94 million in GOMESA funding. This is a big win for our state and a result of continued efforts here in Congress to ensure Louisiana receives the greatest share possible from offshore revenues. The robust oil and gas industry in our state is key to America’s economy and energy independence, and I will continue to do all I can to protect Louisiana’s interests,” said Congressman Mike Johnson (LA-04).

“Energy producing states along the Gulf Coast have waited a long time to start getting a fair share of offshore energy revenues, especially in Louisiana – where the Gulf has eroded over 2,000 square miles of our coast,” said Congressman Garret Graves (LA-06). “Every single penny of this funding will be invested in urgent coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts to protect Louisiana lives, communities, culture and a nationally-important economic engine responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all offshore energy production in federal waters in the United States.”

“The revenue generated from the oil and gas leases throughout the Gulf of Mexico play an extremely important role in protecting our Mississippi coastline,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04). “I am glad to know that the legislation we worked to pass last Congress is already at work and ensuring that states receive higher portions of revenue from these leases. I am grateful for the Department’s efforts to see these GOMESA funds reach our state and fuel Mississippi’s blue economy.”

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