Gulf of Mexico
DAN SWENSON / NOLA.com

LA - Louisiana gets $110 million in offshore oil revenue; here's how it will be divided

Money must be spent on coastal restoration and hurricane protection

Louisiana state government and 19 coastal parishes will receive almost $110 million in the current federal fiscal year to spend on coastal restoration and hurricane protection, the Interior Department announced Tuesday in disbursing money from oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy revenue from federal waters in the Gulf is shared with Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama each year under the federal Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA. Florida gets nothing because no drilling occurs in federal waters off that state's borders.

The money distributed for fiscal 2020 totals $248.9 million, a reduction of $104.1 million, or 29.5%, from 2019. The reduction is tied largely to the drop in demand for oil and gas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana's 2020 share is $45.8 million less than the previous year.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., used the revenue-sharing announcement as a new opportunity to criticize President Joe Biden's moratorium on issuing new oil and gas leases on federal land, including in the Gulf, until new leasing efforts can be reviewed for their effects on global warming. The Biden administration also questions whether present fees are adequate.

Cassidy said he plans to introduce legislation to increase the share of federal offshore energy revenue going to coastal states, and to create a similar revenue-sharing program for wind energy produced in the Gulf.

“This is a welcome reminder that offshore energy production is vital for efforts to restore and rebuild our coastline. Supporting our energy workers supports our coastline and our economy,” Cassidy said. “COVID-19 has reduced this year’s revenue, and President Biden’s actions threaten future funding.”

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Read also Alabama receiving over $35M for coastline investments from GOMESA program, Yellowhammer News, March 30, 2021.

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