April 07, 2015

Senators Call For Offshore Energy Legislation With Revenue Sharing

Bipartisan Southern Atlantic Coastal delegation calls for the same offshore drilling revenue sharing system as Gulf Coast states

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of Senators comprising the Southern Atlantic delegation – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) – is pushing for offshore energy legislation that allows Atlantic coastal states to share in the revenue from energy resources developed offshore.

In January, the U.S. Department of the Interior proposed opening the Mid- and South Atlantic regions to offshore oil and gas leasing. Today, in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senators asked that their states receive the same portion of revenue from offshore energy production as Gulf Coast states currently receive for oil and gas drilling off their shores.

“Offshore energy exploration can be an opportunity to diversify the economy and create jobs in the Mid- and South-Atlantic region, as well as a means to lessen our national reliance on foreign sources of energy,” the Senators wrote. “Our states want the opportunity to create new jobs, generate new revenue and make the United States more energy secure. As you work to develop energy legislation in the 114th Congress, we would appreciate the committee’s consideration of revenue sharing so that Mid- and South-Atlantic states are provided a fair revenue share alongside Gulf Coast states.”

In 2013, Sens. Warner and Kaine introduced the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act, which would have expanded responsible offshore energy development off the Virginia coast and provided for revenue sharing.

The full text of today’s letter appears below. A PDF of the signed letter is available here.

April 7, 2015

Chairman Lisa Murkowski

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

304 Dirksen Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

Ranking Member Maria Cantwell     

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

304 Dirksen Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell,

We write to express our support for the inclusion of revenue sharing legislation in any offshore energy access legislation that the Energy and Natural Resources Committee may consider this Congress. As you know, the Mid- and South-Atlantic was included in the recently released Draft Proposed 2017-2022 Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program (DPP). We strongly believe that offshore energy and revenue sharing for coastal states go hand-in-hand and that any legislation considered by the Committee should reflect that view.

Offshore energy exploration can be an opportunity to diversify the economy and create jobs in the Mid- and South-Atlantic region, as well as a means to lessen our national reliance on foreign sources of energy.  The offshore industry has coexisted with the military and commercial industries like fishing and tourism in other areas for many years, and we believe that oil and gas development can take place on the Outer Continental Shelf alongside our shared efforts to protect our waters and shoreline.  In the Mid- and South-Atlantic as in the Gulf of Mexico, we all agree on the principle that coastal states deserve a portion of the revenue from energy production.

Bipartisan support for oil and gas development on the Atlantic OCS can be found at the federal, state and local levels.  Our states want the opportunity to create new jobs, generate new revenue and make the United States more energy secure.  As you work to develop energy legislation in the 114th Congress, we would appreciate the committee’s consideration of revenue sharing so that Mid- and South-Atlantic states are provided a fair revenue share alongside Gulf Coast states. 

We look forward to working with you as you look to shape future offshore energy policy.

Sincerely,

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