USA - NOIA urges continued oil, gas leasing in Gulf of Mexico to maintain GOMESA funding
The U.S. Department of the Interior dispensed nearly $249 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) funding to oil and gas producing Gulf states this month, but the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) warns this could be imperiled in the future.
The funds were split between Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs, and the implementation of marine and coastal resilience management plans. This stems from a revenue-sharing model that GOMESA enshrines, which passes on a portion of the revenue generated from oil and gas production offshore in the Gulf.
However, NOIA noted that this year’s allotment was about $104 million less than the previous year.
“Thanks to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production, Gulf of Mexico communities will have close to $250 million invested back into the region, funding that does not burden individual taxpayers,” Erik Milito, NOIA president, said. “Federal policies that embrace continued exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico are critical in ensuring future funding for Gulf Coast communities, our national parks, conservation efforts throughout the country, and outdoor programs for urban, disadvantaged neighborhoods. Without continued Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leasing, the important revenue that Gulf Coast states and other Americans depend upon will decline.”
For reference, though, the $249 million figure still represents the second-largest disbursement of GOMESA funds since the program first began doling out money in 2009.