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Six Coastal States to Divvy Up Nearly $500M in OCS Revenues

Six coastal states will share nearly half a billion dollars from offshore oil and natural gas revenues in fiscal years (FY) 2009 and 2010 to help restore and protect coastal wetlands, wildlife habitat and marine areas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday.

Four Gulf Coast states, Alaska and California will share a total of $242.5 million in each fiscal year for a total of $485 million, with $315.2 million going directly to the states and $169.6 million earmarked for coastal political subdivisions, according to Interior.

Louisiana will receive the lion's share of the money -- $121 million in each fiscal year. It is followed by Alaska ($37.5 million per year in FY 2009 and 2010); Texas ($35.6 million per year); Mississippi ($23.8 million annually); Alabama ($19.7 million per year); and California ($5 million per year).

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) authorized that funds be distributed to states adjacent to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil- and gas-producing areas to mitigate the impacts of energy development on marine and coastal areas.

Each eligible state is allocated its share based on that state's qualified OCS revenue generated off of its coast compared to the total qualified OCS revenue generated off the coasts of all eligible states.

EPAct requires that all program funding be used for projects and activities to conserve, protect or restore coastal states, including wetlands, mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife or natural resources; implementation of federally approved marine, coastal or comprehensive conservation management plan; or mitigation of the impact of OCS activities through funding of onshore infrastructure projects and public service needs.

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