Gulf of Mexico
Matagorda County Park that provides beach and Colorado River access for kayakers, paddlers and fisherman.

Matagorda County to reap rewards from GOMESA

Matagorda County stands to receive $901,868.30 that will be disbursed by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) in FY 2018 energy revenues to the four Gulf oil and gas producing states.

In all, DOI Secretary David Bernhardt announced that nearly $215 million will be disbursed to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and their coastal political subdivisions marking an increase of 14.3 percent over the prior year.

This represents the second disbursement under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA). The funds will be used to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs, and activities to implement marine, coastal, or conservation management plans.

Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald said the news is more than welcome to the county and the budget process for the coming year.

“These are revenue sharing funds from offshore oil and gas production and not federal, state or local tax dollars, so it is important to know that the court will not be taking tax dollars out of our budget or fund balance to complete these projects,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the funding the county received is from a revenue sharing model created in 2006 for oil and gas producing Gulf states and the coastal counties therein.  It includes Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and started what is now known is the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funding cycle in 2017.  

“The $901,868.30 that we recently received, is in addition to the funds we received last year and must be used on coastal projects that fall within the parameters of the program,” McDonald said. “This means that Matagorda County will be able to undertake and complete some great coastal programs for our county and that the commissioners court will work together to prioritize those programs.”

GOMESA funds are derived from qualified oil and gas leasing revenues on the Outer Continental Shelf, and disbursed in accordance with the revenue-sharing provisions of the GOMESA legislation.

“The revenue from GOMESA is crucial to enhancing and protecting the Gulf coast,” said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. “ These funds will allow the GLO to fund coastal projects targeting the restoration of coastal damage from Hurricane’s Ike and Harvey and enhancing resiliency of the Texas shoreline to prevent future threats. I am excited to continue implementing additional solutions for the benefit of our great state.”

During FY 2018, Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed approximately $76 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $309 million to the U.S. Treasury from bonuses, rentals, and royalties paid for GOMESA leases.

As required by the legislation, disbursements to LWCF and Treasury are made in the same year of receipt; disbursements to the states and CPS are made the year following the year of receipt.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, Interior continues to deliver on the promise of advancing American energy security and economic prosperity,” said Bernhardt. “These disbursements shared directly with the Gulf producing states and local communities are a direct result of the responsible development of our energy resources.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also heralded the news to provide much-needed revenue for the coastal communities such as Matagorda County.

“As the United States cements itself as the global leader in energy, GOMESA is providing enhanced revenue to Texas’ coastal communities,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “This revenue will fund conservation, restoration and hurricane protection projects throughout the region and contribute to our mission of resiliency and disaster preparedness throughout Texas.”

See the Bay City Daily Tribune article . . .