Increase in Funding for Coastal Restoration Clears Senate Committee
Legislation that would direct hundreds of millions of dollars more in offshore oil and gas revenue to Louisiana clears a Senate Committee.
If it gets signed into law the change could result in a windfall for the state, but one that Senator Bill Cassidy, who authored the legislation, says is constitutionally mandated to fund coastal restoration.
“So it’s not going to be used for pet projects, it’s going to be used to make sure that if there is a category four hurricane that hits our coast that we have rebuilt those marshlands, and we’ve created the levees,” says Cassidy.
The legislation would give Gulf states 50 percent of offshore revenue generated, up from 37.5 percent currently. Cassidy says it also closes a loophole that exempted some rigs from contributing revenue, and so “There will be a higher percentage of the leases in the Gulf contributing to the overall amount.”
The bill also eliminates the 500 million dollar cap on total payouts to states.
Cassidy is optimistic this year’s attempt will succeed where others have failed and says it’ll be a significant economic boon to the state once it passes.
“Along the way we will create a lot of jobs in Louisiana, throughout Louisiana, to help contribute to building these levees and marshland,” says Cassidy.
Louisiana receives roughly 44 percent of all state-directed offshore oil and gas revenue.