Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mary Landrieu, D-La., have introduced legislation designed to ensure that all states receive a fair and equitable share of the revenues from energy production on federal lands and waters.
Although states that produce onshore energy keep 50% of royalties, rents and bonuses, states that produce offshore energy receive virtually nothing, Landrieu says. The Fixing America's Inequities with Revenues (FAIR) Act aims to change that by giving 27.5% of revenue from the development of offshore energy – including oil, gas, wind and other renewable energy sources – to coastal states, plus another 10% if the state creates a clean energy or conservation fund, for a total of 37.5%.
The FAIR Act also extends the existing onshore revenue-sharing program to provide states with an equal share of the revenue from renewable energy production on federal land. States that produce renewable energy on federal lands within their borders would keep 50% of the revenues, just as they currently do for traditional energy. The legislation would also gradually lift the current congressionally mandated $500 million annual cap on revenues kept by Gulf Coast energy-producing states.
"I could have introduced an Alaska-only bill, but we have purposefully expanded this legislation to gain the support of as many members as possible," says Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "We know that in this day and age, it's a 60-vote world in the Senate."