Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today that he filed the Offshore Lease Fairness Act that would mandate that 50 percent of offshore leasing revenue for new leases go to the coastal state adjacent to the oil lease. Currently, Gulf Coast states only receive anywhere from 27 percent 37.5 percent of lease revenue. In some situations, it can be even less.

The second highest single source of federal revenue each year comes from offshore drilling at $6 billion per year, said Poe. Those of us along the Gulf Coast have to bear the economic brunt of the oil spill and the devastating moratorium, it is time that we also receive our fair share of the revenues as well.

In just the first six months of the drilling moratorium, Texas and Louisiana alone will lose an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 jobs just in this industry, not counting all the related industries that are onshore, continued Poe. The inadequate federal response to the clean-up and containment of the oil spill has caused additional financial damage and this legislation aims to put money back in our state coffers to be spent by the state not the federal government.

Congressman Poe was joined by bipartisan Gulf State Members as original cosponsors:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX-06), Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL-01), Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La-07), Rep. Bobby Bright (D-AL-02), Rep. Cao (R-LA-02), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX-22), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX-14) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-01).

The Offshore Lease Fairness Act does not mandate that coastal states spend the money on shoreline mitigation projects or anything else, the money would go directly to the general fund of coastal states, and they could spend at their discretion. This money could be spent on transportation, education, shoreline mitigation, or any other purpose.

H.R. 5973 The Offshore Lease Fairness Act:

(1) increase the revenue shared with States under the OCS Lands Act (dealing with the "8(g) zone", the zone that extends three miles from the coast line) to 50 percent for leases entered into after enactment of this Act; and

(2) expand the applicability of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) to new leases for all lands on the Outer Continental Shelf (as opposed to only lands in the Gulf of Mexico), and increase the revenue shared with states under that Act to 50 percent for leases entered into after enactment of this Act, without the accompanying restrictions GOMESA puts on the way states may spend that 50 percent (e.g., on coastal maintenance, etc.).

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