Environmental Policy News

AWF: Revenue Sharing Needed for Coastal Restoration

The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) said that attempting to repeal the sharing of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues with the coastal oil and gas producing states in the U.S. through the budgetary process is counter to the best interest of the nation.


After many years of a hard fought effort to pass GOMESA (the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2005) that would share revenues from the OCS with Louisiana and other coastal producing states, the president's budget cancels the agreement between energy producing states and the federal government for a share of funding received by the U.S. as rentals or royalties from OCS leases under GOMESA.

"Losing anticipated funding is devastating to our efforts here in Louisiana to fund restoration and to salvage the very coastline that hosts energy development for the benefit of the entire nation," AWF Senior Advisor Sidney Coffee said. "As Louisiana continues to lose coastal wetlands at the most dramatic rate on the planet, the fate of one of America's most essential estuarine areas cannot be a bargaining chip for energy policy politics."

Val Marmillion, AWF managing director, said, "True environmentalism would recognize that impacts occur wherever energy is secured in the public interest. The sharing of revenues used to reverse these impacts cannot be used as a pawn. That is wrong. Repealing monies in the pipeline completely upends state plans to work cooperatively to restore our coast."

For more than a decade, AWF has called on national leaders to seriously consider the argument for a strong economy tied to energy development from a healthy Louisiana coast. A sound case can be made that what is essential to the regional economy is also critical for saving a vast ecosystem that is being lost. Without a significant and immediate drive for restoration, environmental services and species will be lost to an ill-informed budgetary process.

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