The 2019 legislative session has finally come to a close.
For those that thought this would be a quick and uncontentious two-month session for lawmakers, boy were they wrong. This session, even without another budget crisis, did not run short on its list of roses or thorns.
There were a handful of bills that passed that enhanced the environment for the oil and gas sector. The oil and gas industry will be able to participate in carbon dioxide sequestration thanks to Rep. Raymond Crews filing House Bill (HB) 163. This bill allows the Office of Conservation and the Commissioner to promulgate rules to permit carbon sequestration. This bill, now law, was a collaboration between industry, regulators and lawmakers to provide another environmentally friendly way to deal with excess carbon while producing energy.
Additionally, LOGA worked hand in hand with Rep. Blake Miguez to provide some clarification to the tax code. Due to a “unique” interpretation of Louisiana tax codes, oil companies in three parishes have recently assessed property tax on goods that was previously not taxed. Thankfully, this measure passed and on the October ballot will be a constitutional amendment to provide for a property tax exemption for goods bound for the Outer Continental Shelf, providing needed clarity for Louisiana’s offshore operators.
Louisiana will also experience one of the largest infrastructure investments in decades. Thanks to the teamwork of Rep. Tanner Magee, Sen. Rick Ward and a coalition of pro-industry and business groups, Louisiana is set to receive nearly a $700 million investment for transportation projects. The best part about this investment is we, the taxpayers, are not on the hook for the tab. Instead of using taxpayer dollars, HB 572 directs BP Deepwater settlement dollars to these infrastructure projects, like the LA 1 Improvement Project that connects to Port Fourchon.