Congressman Troy A. Carter Sr. and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise have introduced bipartisan legislation that would update the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act to increase coastal states’ share of oil and natural gas revenue.
The Budgeting for Renewable Electrical Energy Zone Earnings Act equalizes the percentage of revenue sharing to match those of onshore states, improves South Louisiana’s resiliency against hurricanes, provides hundreds of millions more dollars to restore our coast, and sets the stage to invest and collect revenue from offshore wind energy.
“Louisiana’s coastline is facing an existential threat, and our state needs and deserves a sufficient and reliable funding stream to protect against erosion and more intense hurricanes due to climate change,” Carter said. “After long being shortchanged in our state’s share of energy revenues, the BREEZE Act would help level the playing field for Louisiana while building a framework to bring home more funds for coastal restoration from the growing sector of offshore wind. The scale of this challenge is enormous, and I’m glad to collaborate on this problem-solving bill with Congressman Scalise to protect the people, environment, and economy of Louisiana.”
Scalise said that offshore energy production provides crucial dollars for Louisiana to use to restore the coast, which is the first line of defense against powerful Gulf storms.
St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell, who is the president of Parishes Advocating for Coastal Endurance, praised the introduction of the BREEZE Act.
“GOMESA funding is vitally important to our working coast and parishes as we use these funds for restoration and hurricane protection,” he said. “Establishing another revenue sharing opportunity for our coastal parishes for wind lease sales would be another opportunity to protect, restore and create a more resilient coast.”
The BREEZE Act would increase states’ share of revenue from oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico from 37.5 percent to 50 percent and would eliminate the annual cap on funds received by Gulf states under GOMESA. Interior states currently get 50 percent of revenues from their energy leases, without being subject to an annual cap like Louisiana is.
This increase, Carter said, will ensure more funding goes towards Louisiana’s coastline and aid in making major investments in coastal restoration.
The act would also establish a revenue sharing structure for coastal states for wind lease sales and production on the Outer Continental Shelf.