Vitter, Cassidy Introduce OCS Revenue Sharing Increase Amendment to Keystone
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, pushed for a vote on his amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would increase federal offshore revenue sharing for energy producing states. The amendment would also change the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) 5-year leasing program from 2015 through 2020 to open more areas off the East and West coasts for exploration. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is an original co-sponsor of the amendment.
“States like Louisiana who produce energy off our shores only receive a small portion of the revenue generated from the production. The rest goes to the federal Treasury. I’ve always said that they’re our coasts, our risk, and our workers; so we should get more of that revenue to stay here in Louisiana,” Vitter said. “And we want other states, like Virginia, to be able to access the resources off their shores and participate in revenue sharing too.”
“The more money Louisiana receives from offshore oil and gas production, the more we can restore and protect our coasts. We cannot let Louisiana’s maritime, shipping, energy and construction jobs be threatened by coastal erosion,” said Cassidy. “I introduced and passed several amendments in the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide billions for coastal restoration. This will help grow jobs and protect families from future storm surge. I look forward to continuing this important effort in the Senate.”
Last year in the House of Representatives, Cassidy successfully passed similar revenue sharing legislation, but it was never considered in the Senate.
Earlier this month, Vitter introduced targeted bills to improve the United States energy economy and use of domestic resources, including an amendment to return to the previous five-year offshore leasing plan scheduled before President Obama was elected. The plan would open up nearly all of the outer continental shelf (OCS) for lease sales. The Administration’s current offshore plan keeps 85 percent of offshore areas closed. Both Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) support opening Virginia’s coast to drilling.
Vitter is the original co-sponsor of the legislation pending approval in the Senate and also the first member of the Senate to introduce legislation to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011. The Keystone XL pipeline is expected to carry 1,000,000 barrels of North American oil supplies per day to U.S. refineries. Its construction will create over 20,000 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs.
The Vitter-Cassidy OCS revenue sharing amendment will do the following:
- Moves the $500 million Phase II revenue sharing start date from 2017 to 2016
- Increases the cap of $500 million to $699 million from 2017 to 2055
- Initiates revenue sharing of $100 per year from 2016 through 2065
- No cap after 2065
- Establishes revenue sharing for Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina at the following rates: