Byrne Applauds $188 Million in Energy Revenues to Gulf States
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today applauded an announcement from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke that the Department of Interior will disburse almost $188 million to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).
GOMESA is the federal legislation that creates a revenue sharing agreement between Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Under GOMESA, each state receives a percentage of federal oil revenue from drilling of their coasts.
Under today’s announcement, $21 million will go to the State of Alabama. An additional $2.47 million will go to Baldwin County and $2.88 million to Mobile County.
Congressman Byrne said: “Revenue generated from offshore oil and gas leases is critically important to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, and I appreciate Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration for their commitment to our coastal communities. I have consistently fought to protect this revenue source, which is put to use on important conservation and infrastructure projects along the Gulf Coast.”
Congressman Byrne has continually fought to protect the GOMESA revenue, which is used for projects in Alabama’s coastal counties. Byrne has successfully offered amendments in the past to block any effort to redirect the money away from Gulf Coast states.
Most recently, Byrne worked to secure a provision in the tax reform bill to increase the money available to the Gulf states under GOMESA. The provision would help make up for shortfalls in the projected amount of revenue from offshore oil and gas leases.
Secretary Zinke said: “Under President Trump’s America-First energy strategy, we’ve increased energy revenue by a billion dollars nationally in the first year alone. Offshore energy production means less oil needed from foreign countries and more jobs for the American people. This $188 million will be dedicated to coastal restoration and other projects important to many communities in the Gulf.”
The $188 million to be disbursed in FY 2018 is over five times more than the total amount disbursed to states and CPS during the entirety of Phase I of GOMESA, extending from FY 2009 through FY 2017. The increase in disbursements is attributable to the significant increase in the number of leases included under Phase II and the revenues these generated. Approximately $37 million was shared by states and coastal political subdivisions during Phase I.