Congressman Bobby Jindal was recently joined by parish presidents, mayors, and coastal advocacy groups to add further weight behind the push to pass his Domestic Energy Production through Offshore Exploration and Equitable Treatment of State Holdings Act of 2006.
"I am grateful for the continued support of Louisiana's local and state leaders for my efforts to bring Louisiana a fair share of the revenues generated by energy exploration off our coast," Jindal said. "Speaking with one voice, as we have here today, we let the nation know that we are committed to providing energy to the country, but in return we ask for an equitable portion of the royalties we generate. I want to thank the leaders who have come here today to offer their support, and the many more men and women across the state who have added their voices as well."
Although St. Charles Parish President, Albert Laque was not present at the meeting with Jindal he said “This move by Jindal is a great opportunity for St. Charles Parish to generate much needed funds after Hurricane Katrina for rebuilding, as well as meet the rebuilding needs of the entire gulf coast,” He went on to say, “It is another way to generate funds for the state. Other states that mine coal or other natural resources receive royalties for that resource, why Louisiana was initially left out of those royalties, I just don’t know.”
The Jindal Bill is the most comprehensive revenue sharing proposal yet to come before Congress. Currently, states with onshore energy production receive 50 percent of royalties generated, yet Louisiana receives virtually nothing from the $5 billion to $7 billion the coast generates for the federal government. The Jindal Bill will change that, creating a new zone of revenue sharing from the edge of state waters to the 12 nautical mile mark, within which states like Louisiana will receive 75 percent of all royalties generated. In Louisiana this zone will extend from 3 nautical miles (the edge of state waters) to 12 nautical miles (about 13.8 statute miles).
Additionally, beyond 12 nautical miles revenue sharing will increase until states like Louisiana receive 50 percent of the royalties generated out to the edge of US energy exploration. Under the bill, Louisiana will receive more than $9 billion over the first 10 years, more than $28 billion over the first 20 years, and more than $50 billion over the first 30 years. By the time it is fully implemented, Louisiana will receive more than $2 billion a year from royalty sharing. Louisiana will continue to receive 100 percent of royalties within state waters.
"I will continue to win bipartisan support from my colleagues in Congress, with members from across the country signing on as cosponsors," Jindal continued. "Members of leadership, from House Minority Whip Roy Blunt to the Chairman of the Resources Subcommittee that will hear the bill, have added their support. I am confident that this is our strongest effort ever to bring Louisiana its rightful revenues. I will continue to gather support for this legislation in Congress, and work to get Louisiana the money it needs for coastal restoration and hurricane protection."
The royalties kept by Louisiana under the Jindal Bill will be directed towards rebuilding Louisiana's coast and further hurricane protection. Louisiana loses 30 square miles of the coast a year and has lost an amount of land greater than the state of Rhode Island in just the last 50 years.
The Jindal Bill builds on previous legislation introduced by Congressman Jindal that has been passed by his Resources Committee, and even the full House of Representatives. Congressman Jindal is a member of the House Resources Committee.