La. to get more restoration help

Louisiana’s in the process of getting its first share of federal offshore oil revenue earmarked for Gulf states. It’s the first such revenue pot which amounts to $188 million to the four states. The state will get $82 million to the state, which has already been assigned to help rebuild coastal restoration projects.

The 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act law set up the formula to split some of the federal government’s revenue from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. Florida chose to remain independent from the other Gulf states.

This was the first major payment made by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Louisiana. Roughly $66 million will go to the state as a whole and the other $16 million will be spread among 19 coastal parishes.

Before last Thursday’s payment to the four states in the Gulf region only $37 million had been shared among the four states. U.S. Sen. Steve Scalise said the $82 million would be critical in the state’s fight against coastal erosion. Rep. Garret Graves who ran the state’s Coastal, Protection and Restoration Authority under former Gov. Bobby Jindal said we have been waiting for this day for a long time. He added that “the effort to get a fair share of offshore energy revenues dates back many decades, and every penny of these funds announced today will be invested in urgent coastal restoration and hurricane efforts to protect our communities and economy.”

Graves noted a number of studies have indicated, that with every dollar spent in flood protection and other such projects, the federal government ends up saving more money in future disaster recovery and other costs.

Many Louisiana parishes have filed lawsuits against oil and gas companies, which has become a battlefield in the state. On the other hand, petroleum-based companies have claimed the oil and gas industry gets an undue amount of blame for destruction of the state’s coast.

Some petroleum company spokesmen take credit for their enterprises building up some 90 percent of the oil districts economy which includes the production of oil and gas. Without them producing it, we may be a much poorer portion of our nation.

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