Interior Issues $188 Million in Energy Revenues to Fund Conservation and Storm Prep

GOMESA Phase-II disbursements will fund important coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection projects

Secretary Zinke, an older white man with gray hair, stands with a small group of other older white men in suits holding a very large check.
4/26/2018
Last edited 4/26/2018

Date: April 26, 2018
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Department will disburse almost $188 million to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and their coastal political subdivisions (CPS). This represents the first disbursement under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA). The funds are derived from qualified oil and gas leasing revenues on the Outer Continental Shelf, and disbursed in accordance with the revenue-sharing provisions of the GOMESA legislation.

“Under President Trump’s America-First energy strategy, we’ve increased energy revenue by a billion dollars nationally in the first year alone, which creates more funding for important conservation projects in the Gulf” said Secretary Zinke. “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.”

“I am pleased to receive the GOMESA distribution that is derived from the oil and gas exploration in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “As one of the four Gulf producing states, Alabama will use these funds wisely to protect, restore and provide public access to natural resources in our beautiful state. I appreciate the work of Congress, through GOMESA, to share these revenues with the areas most affected by Outer Continental Shelf activities.”

“Mississippi is working hard to maximize our energy resources to help lower costs for the consumer and make America energy independent,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “This funding will help initiate projects to improve our water quality and enhance the blue economy of our Gulf Coast. I am grateful to Secretary Zinke and everyone else who made this disbursement a reality.”

“The people of Louisiana have waited for over ten years for Phase II of GOMESA to begin and for our state to start receiving a larger portion of the revenues derived off of our coast,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “This revenue stream is one we have planned our coastal program around, and we are happy to finally be able to put it to use to help address our land loss crisis. A healthy coast is absolutely essential to a healthy oil and gas industry in Louisiana, as well as our economy overall. The dedication of these funds to address our coastal issues is the smartest investment we can make.”

“As the State of Texas continues to recover from the damage and devastating flooding that impacted 240 miles of Texas coastline, we are grateful for the GOMESA funds that will help strengthen and restore the state’s vibrant coastal region,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “We look forward to using these funds for projects that reinforce our conservation and restoration efforts, and will allow generations of Texans to enjoy.”

“More of Louisiana’s coast disappears every day,” said Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-LA). “I am glad to finally see these GOMESA dollars coming in. This money will help us restore our beautiful coast so that we can continue to provide oil, natural gas and seafood to the rest of the nation. We need every penny that we can get to fight coastal erosion and protect our coastal communities. As the oil industry becomes more robust, I expect this revenue to increase even more.”

“This funding will help restore and protect Louisiana’s coasts, and thanks to the tax reform law we passed, our state stands to receive tens of millions of dollars more for these important projects," said Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA). "I thank Secretary Zinke for his leadership and support of GOMESA, which will make a difference in Louisiana for generations to come.”

“This distribution of GOMESA funds demonstrates the importance of American energy independence,” said Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX), Vice Chair of the Energy Subcommittee. “The benefits it brings to our nation and the Gulfcoast community both economically and by powering our nation through energy are a win-win all around. I appreciate the collaboration of the federal, state and local governments in reaching this revenue sharing agreement and thank President Trump and Secretary Zinke for their leadership on this critical issue.”

“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,” said Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL). “I have consistently fought to protect this revenue source, which is put to use on important conservation and infrastructure projects along the Gulf Coast.”

“This is great news for the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS). “The Phase II funding of GOMESA will be directly used for much needed coastal conservation, restoration, and hurricane protection. In 2020, we can look forward to an even larger increase in funding that we were able to secure as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill due, in no small part, to the hard work and support of Secretary Zinke, President Trump’s administration, and our Leadership in the House.”

"We have been waiting for this day for a long time. The effort to get a fair share of offshore energy revenues dates back many decades and every penny of these funds announced today will be invested in urgent coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts to protect our communities and economy," said Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA). "Having helped draft and negotiate this law as a staffer years ago, it is especially satisfying to start to see many years of work finally pay off." 

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 from the Phase I.

During FY 2017, Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed approximately $67 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and almost $268 million to the U.S. Treasury from bonuses, rentals, and royalties paid for GOMESA leases. As required by the legislation, disbursements to the LWCF and Treasury are made in the same year of receipt; disbursements to the states and CPS are made the year following the year of receipt.

Revenue-sharing allocations and disbursement detail for the FY 2017 receipts will be published April 26, 2018, on the ONRR website at: https://www.onrr.gov.

GOMESA payments are subject to sequestration requirements under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue manages and ensures full payment of revenues owed for the development of the nation’s energy and natural resources on the Outer Continental Shelf and onshore Federal and Indian lands. In performing this important fiduciary role, ONRR collects an average of over $10 billion dollars in annual revenue -- one of the Federal government's largest sources of non-tax revenue.