Chapter Members & Friends,
Hello (insert name),
I am concerned about potential funding impacts to the four energy-producing states of the Gulf of Mexico as a result of new legislation that will impact GOMESA. We have an opportunity to increase revenue sharing with the Gulf Coast to be more equitable and your help is needed. It is my understanding that the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be moving in the Senate soon, and we do not want to be left out. We are happy to see an emphasis on conservation and the National Park System, but we are concerned that this could lead to a situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul as it relates to GOMESA.
As we discussed, GOMESA is one of our only recurring revenue streams, and funds derived from these leases can only be used on coastal restoration and hurricane protection. We find it imperative that bills like Land and Water do not take money derived from our coast without sending any of it back. As mentioned before, we in no way, shape, or form oppose LWCF, but we feel that this bill presents an opportunity to add language to facilitate an increase in GOMESA revenues by eliminating the cap of $375 million, raising the percentage from 37.5% to 50%, and/or backdating eligible leases to the year 2000.
As policy makers, professionals, and coastal advocates, the GOMESA Revenue Sharing Coalition strongly urges you to push for the fair treatment of the gulf states. We ask that you actively support an increased share of funding through GOMESA as LWCF starts to move through the Senate. Once again, we only ask for equity with onshore states in how mineral revenues are disbursed.
Thank you for your time and consideration and if there is anything I can do to provide additional context or information, please let me know.