Cassidy Statement on Interior’s First Proposed Gulf of Mexico Offshore Wind Sale
Published 8:30 am Friday, February 24, 2023
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the first proposed offshore wind sale in the Gulf of Mexico:
“The Gulf of Mexico is already a powerhouse for oil and gas production and now with new technology has the potential to develop new forms of energy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Louisiana companies stand ready to further develop affordable energy for our families. This announcement also highlights the need to advance my RISEE Act so revenues from the sale go back to rebuilding our coastline.”
Earlier this month, Cassidy reintroduced the bicameral and bipartisan Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act. It would both amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and create a new dedicated stream of funding from future offshore wind development for coastal protection and resiliency. This will allow for more equitable resource sharing between states, the federal government and conservation programs.
The bill amends GOMESA by:
- Eliminating the state revenue sharing cap, currently at $375 million.
- Lifting the Land & Water Conservation Fund’s state-side funding cap of $125 million.
Louisiana constitutionally dedicates revenues from offshore energy production to pay for conservation, restoration, and environmental projects to preserve and restore its eroding coastline.
Current law requires all revenues generated from offshore wind leases and production beyond state waters be deposited in the U.S. Treasury. The RISEE Act sends 37.5% of offshore wind revenue to adjacent states where offshore wind farms are developed. The state share is based on a formula developed by the Secretary of Interior to ensure states are receiving revenues from wind energy development off their coasts.
The RISEE Act was considered and passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Congress.