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Carl introduces bill to have federal government reimburse coastal states for revenue lost due to a Biden executive order

U.S. Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) announced a piece of legislation on Tuesday that aims to make the federal government pay for state revenue lost due to actions taken by President Joe Biden.

Seven days after being sworn in, Biden signed an executive order halting all new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and waters while the Secretary of the Interior conducts a review of the permitting process.

Carl wants the federal government to repay coastal states for the revenue lost because of Biden’s executive order.

“President Biden’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases in federal waters is particularly devastating to south Alabama and the Gulf Coast region,” said Carl in a statement.

Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District, which encompasses the entirety of the state’s coastal area.

Alabama receives revenue each year under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).

Under GOMESA, slightly more than one-third of the money paid to the federal government for new permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico is shared with coastal states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas).

The money can be used by the included states for coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection. Up to $500 million a year is contributed to the revenue sharing program with the four states.

According to Carl’s office, the congressman’s legislation would require that, while Biden’s moratorium is in place, states receive payment for “any difference between what they collected in normal GOMESA revenues that fiscal year and the average revenues collected between fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020.”

Alabama received just over $50 million in GOMESA disbursements during fiscal year 2020, a higher amount than usual. The state received around $30.6 million in 2019 and $26.8 million in 2018.

Projects paid for by GOMESA funds in Alabama include improvements and renovations of Gulf State Park and Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

“The GOMESA funding is very important to Coastal Alabama. These funds have been used to provide new recreational access to our waterways, improve water quality through sewer system improvements and have protected sensitive habitats through land acquisitions,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in a release provided by Carl’s office.

Original cosponsors of Carl’s bill are seven Republican members of the U.S. House from other GOMESA states. Included among them is Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking Republican in the House.

Carl’s bill is named the Gulf Conservation and Recreation Funding Act. It can be read in full here.

The legislation is unlikely to become law with the Democratic Party controlling the U.S. House, Senate and presidency.

“President Biden has declared war on the oil and gas industry, which is destroying jobs and harming Alabama’s economy. This is wrong, and I’m fighting to hold the Biden Administration accountable,” concluded Carl.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: [email protected] or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

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