Committee approves Cassidy’s bill bolstering offshore energy revenue sharing

U.S. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) commended a U.S. Senate committee’s advancement of bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to strengthen offshore energy revenue sharing in their home state and across the country.

The U.S Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 19 approved the Conservation Of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life (COASTAL) Act, S. 2418, which Sen. Cassidy introduced in August.

“I applaud the Senate Energy Committee for passing Senator Cassidy’s bill that increases revenue sharing for Louisiana and other Gulf states,” Rep. Scalise said. “Creating parity in revenue sharing has long been a top priority of mine as well as our entire delegation because the revenues generated off our coast through oil and gas production are a critical source of funds needed to rebuild Louisiana’s vanishing coast and protect our communities from future storms.”

If enacted, S. 2418 would modify the disposition and authorized uses of certain offshore energy revenues, exempt state and county payments from sequestration, and provide for the distribution of certain offshore energy revenues to the State of Alaska, among other provisions, according to the text of the bill.

Rep. Scalise added that S. 2418 “is similar to legislation that I and others in our delegation have introduced in the House,” and it would finally bring Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states “in line with onshore states that already receive 50 percent of the revenues generated from energy exploration and production.”

Specifically, S. 2418 would increase the percentage of revenue sharing under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act from a 37.5-percent share of energy produced in federal waters to 50 percent.

“This bill creates fairness between Louisiana and other states,” said Sen. Cassidy last week. “It increases the amount of revenue Louisiana receives to use for coastal restoration, not only preserving our state and communities but also creating jobs.”

The full Senate will consider S. 2418 as part of a package of energy bills, though a vote date has not yet been set, according to Sen. Cassidy.

“I can’t tell you when the vote will take place,” he said, “but I can tell you there is strong bipartisan support for the entire bill, which our amendment is a part of.”