Senators call for offshore energy legislation with revenue sharing

congressA bipartisan group of senators comprising the Southern Atlantic delegation – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) – is pushing for offshore energy legislation that allows Atlantic coastal states to share in the revenue from energy resources developed offshore.

In January, the U.S. Department of the Interior proposed opening the Mid- and South Atlantic regions to offshore oil and gas leasing. Today, in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senators asked that their states receive the same portion of revenue from offshore energy production as Gulf Coast states currently receive for oil and gas drilling off their shores.

“Offshore energy exploration can be an opportunity to diversify the economy and create jobs in the Mid- and South-Atlantic region, as well as a means to lessen our national reliance on foreign sources of energy,” the Senators wrote. “Our states want the opportunity to create new jobs, generate new revenue and make the United States more energy secure. As you work to develop energy legislation in the 114th Congress, we would appreciate the committee’s consideration of revenue sharing so that Mid- and South-Atlantic states are provided a fair revenue share alongside Gulf Coast states.”

In 2013, Sens. Warner and Kaine introduced the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act, which would have expanded responsible offshore energy development off the Virginia coast and provided for revenue sharing.

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