The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday passed the Conservation of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life (COASTAL) Act which would increase Louisiana’s share of qualified Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas revenues under the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006.
The COASTAL Act, authored by Senators Cassidy and Murkowski, would make changes to GOMESA that would increase the percentage of qualified revenues shared with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
According to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), it would also expand the leases from which revenues are shared and lift the $375 million cap currently applied to revenues returned to gulf states and their coastal political subdivisions.
Commenting the latest news, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said: “The people of Louisiana wisely protected GOMESA funds for coastal protection and restoration through a constitutional amendment. My administration, through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), has already committed $300 million of these funds to high-priority projects in the Coastal Master Plan over the next three years. Increases stemming from the final passage of Senator Cassidy’s bill would be immediately translated into more projects to protect and restore our coast.”
The COASTAL Act will now advance to the Senate floor for a full vote.