Louisiana’s hopes to restore our fragile Gulf of Mexico coast in the future took a setback recently when estimates of the revenue the state will receive from the federal government’s Gulf energy royalties will likely be cut dramatically.
Under the revenue sharing plan known as the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act, or GOMESA, coastal states are supposed to get a share of royalties from oil and gas drilling in federal waters of the Gulf.
State officials had hoped that revenue would be about $175 million a year for Louisiana.
Most of that money – $140 million or so – was to be turned over to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) that would put in place projects to help restore our fabulous coast and help protect us from floods and further coastal erosion. Coastal parishes would get the rest of the money.
But, a state official said GOMESA revenue to Louisiana will likely decreaste by about 50 percent.
State officials said that would mean deciding which state restoration projects would be undertaken and which ones would be delayed or cut.
With the new estimates in place, that would provide only about $78 million to $94 million a year instead of $140 million a year cutting the share for CPRA projects down to about $62 million to $75 million a year.
CPRA officials have pointed out that GOMESA revenue is especially important because it provides money up front and also provides cash under other grant-reimbursable funding available.
Hopefully, the amounts available for early use will increase in the future as time goes on and the once wonderful Louisiana coast will be able to regain the stability that it once had.
We have a wonderful master plan for such a future to take place and keep the Louisiana coast the way it once was.