Wednesday the House Resources Committee, of which I am a member, will begin mark-up on the Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act. While I'm pleased this bill will make us less dependent on foreign oil, I'm really excited the federal government is finally recognizing that Louisiana and other states that support offshore drilling deserve a fair share of the royalties.

Offshore drilling has created good-paying jobs for many Louisianans, but the state has also had to shoulder the burdens that result from supporting this industry, including an eroding coastline and the cost of infrastructure like ports and highways. Despite the fact that Louisiana has been a willing partner in facilitating our domestic energy production, we receive next to nothing of the $6-8 BILLION that flows into the federal treasury every year from royalties paid by companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

This simply isn't fair, and the DOER Act recognizes that. This bill would give the states that support offshore drilling an equitable share of the royalties, and Louisiana has plans to put this new funding to good use. We are passing a constitutional amendment in Louisiana to require that our share of the revenue be used solely for building a comprehensive hurricane protection and coastal restoration system, shielding our citizens from future hurricanes and repairing the environmental damage our coastline has suffered. This bill is not just about money, it's about doing what's right and what's fair.