Washington, D.C. – Today, a report released by the Center for American Progress finds that the leading natural resource revenue sharing proposal in Congress, called the Fixing America’s Inequities with Revenue, or FAIR, Act, would cost U.S. taxpayers more than $49 billion of lost offshore drilling revenue between 2014 and 2040, resulting in a significant and arguably inequitable windfall for five states that would currently benefit: Texas, Louisiana, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alabama.
“Taking more oil and gas revenues away from taxpayers is far from fair and hard to defend as fiscally responsible,” said Matt Lee-Ashley, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “Instead of adding $50 billion to the debt, Congress should be making fiscally sound reforms that invest energy revenues from public lands and oceans in ways that benefit every American.”
The report finds that under the FAIR Act, federal energy payments to Louisiana alone would rise to nearly $2 billion per year by 2025—33 times more than what the average energy-producing state is currently collecting and 12 times more than what either of two of the onshore energy-producing giants, Colorado and Utah, is receiving. Coastal states that oppose offshore drilling would be penalized by being ineligible to receive any revenues from offshore energy development—either conventional or renewable.
The report provides recommendations for a fiscally sound and comprehensive approach to reform natural resource revenue sharing policy, including by:
- Establishing a mitigation fee for offshore drilling activities that would be used for coastal restoration
- Creating a true conservation royalty by fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund
- Addressing the costly legacy of previous revenue sharing agreements for timber and other resources
Read the report: Protecting the Taxpayer’s Share of Natural Resource Revenues on Public Lands and Oceans by Matt Lee-Ashley, Jessica Goad, Michael Madowitz, and Michael Conathan
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