U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources called for expanded energy exploration and production in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in a joint letter with Senators Begich, D-Alaska, Warner, D-Va., and Manchin, D-W.Va., to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
The letter was sent as part of the Department of the Interior’s Request for Information on the new Five Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022.
“There is strong bipartisan support from members of Congress, governors, state legislators, local leaders and the general public for allowing oil and natural gas development in more areas of the U.S. OCS. Areas that have not seen the direct benefits of offshore development are anxious to reap them,” Sen. Landrieu wrote in the letter.
“Offshore energy production must play a key role as we continue down the path as an energy superpower creating more American jobs, providing much-needed federal and local government revenue, and enhancing our nation’s energy security.”
The letter also calls on the Department of the Interior to expand revenue sharing partnerships to all coastal states. The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which Sen. Landrieu passed with former Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M., in 2006, established revenue sharing for Gulf Coast states that produce oil and gas off their shores for the first time.
“Robust offshore energy development should also provide equitable distribution of revenues to states supporting that production, especially those who currently do not benefit from revenue sharing and royalty payments, which will allow for much needed coastal protection and resiliency efforts and for necessary related infrastructure investments,” Sen. Landrieu wrote.
“With over $7 billion sent each year to the Federal treasury and billions more expected, it is both fair and forward thinking to use a portion of these revenues to support the coastal states who host this energy production for our country.”
Read the entire letter here.