Blanco put the U.S. Minerals Management Service on notice in late January that she may block impending lease sales in federal waters unless Louisiana gets a share of the federal royalties generated by oil and gas production in the Gulf.That’s great. But, as the title promised, let me kick it up a notch.
Blanco said she wants the state to get half of that big pie, or $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually—money that will secure the nation’s domestic energy supply and provide critical coastal protection.
As I’ve posted before, some oil-producing states that already get 50 percent wind up getting a lot more:
Distribution of revenues associated with onshore federal lands is split 50-40-10, with 50 percent of the money going directly to the state within which the specific lease was located. Forty percent is sent to the Reclamation Fund of the U.S. Treasury. This special account finances the Bureau of Reclamation's water projects in 17 western states. The remaining 10 percent goes to the Treasury's General Fund.Onshore oil-producing states get 50 percent of revenues produced on federal lands. Then, if they are one the 17 states that relies on the Bureau of Reclamation to fund water projects, *they get another 40 percent* collectively so they can have water. Basically, the western states get *90 percent* of the oil revenues produced on their lands in some way. Alaska gets 90 percent outright.
One exception, Alaska, gets a 90-percent share of the revenues. The remainder goes to the U.S. Treasury.
Here’s the kicked-up notch: Louisiana, and all of the offshore oil-producing states, should ask for 50 percent of the revenues to use as we see fit. Then, we should ask for another 40 percent to go to a Coastal Restoration Fund that can be used by the Department of the Interior to fund wetlands restoration in states along the coast.
Just as those 17 states that get an extra 40 percent could not survive without their water, we can not survive without our wetlands. While it is an improvement and probably all we can get, a 50-50 split is not *fair.* What is fair is a 50-40-10 split just like the onshore oil-producing states.
UPDATE: Schroeder sees more support for oil royalties.
UPDATE 2: Jindal and Melancon are pimping a bill that would give Louisiana 75 percent. I'll take that.