LMOGA Responds to Great American Outdoors Act

06 17, 2020 by LMOGA

LMOGA Calls on Congress and Trump Administration to Secure the Future of Great American Outdoors Act: Protect Gulf of Mexico Energy Resilience

On June 17, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, making nearly $3 billion of energy mineral revenue automatically accessible each year for public lands and National Parks infrastructure. The bill’s passage strengthens offshore oil and gas ties to conservation and in order to sustain the Great American Outdoors Act, Congress and the Trump Administration must take action now to protect Gulf of Mexico energy and sustain conservation programs for years to come.

Over $4.4 billion have been deposited into the Land and Water Conservation Fund since its inception, primarily from offshore energy revenues. Lease sale revenue in the Gulf has declined by over 91% over the past 10 years with production expected to continue along that trajectory. Due to COVID-19 this trajectory has only been accelerated:

  • at least $40 billion in capital expenditures have been cut across energy businesses—delaying, significantly reducing in size, or eliminating altogether important energy exploration and production projects that would yield long-term investments in conservation programs.
  • rig count for the GOM has fallen to 12 (as of 5/15), the lowest on record
  • well starts are projected to be the fewest since 1959
  • 300,000 barrels/day shut in in the Gulf
  • 1.3 million jobs lost in energy nationwide

Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) established a revenue sharing scheme for gulf producing states to share in offshore revenue. LMOGA supports Louisiana delegation efforts to improve Gulf producing states’ share of offshore revenues and encourages members of Congress to also act to sustain our industry to support conservation and coastal resilience programs by providing continued and expanded access in the Outer Continental Shelf.

“The Senate has sent a clear signal that offshore oil and gas development has important benefits that span across the country. Now is the time for action to protect our industry in the Gulf from further decline and sustain the Great American Outdoors Act for years to come by providing continued and expanded access to offshore mineral resources in the Gulf. Increasing a percentage of revenues to either LWCF, public lands infrastructure, or coastal states without continued and expanded access is a near-certain way to carve a larger piece of a shrinking pie.”—Tyler Gray, President and General Counsel of LMOGA