Bingaman has long opposed granting coastal states a share of leasing and royalty revenues from oil-and-gas development in federal waters.
He argues that it’s an unacceptable hit to the Treasury, and noted Tuesday that it’s not a good idea given the debt.
Landrieu argues that coastal states bearing the impact of development deserve a share, and backers of revenue sharing also believe it provides an incentive for more states to back drilling off their shores. Gulf of Mexico states won revenue-sharing from certain leases in a 2006 law, but the bulk does not kick in until 2016.
(Click here for more on Bingaman’s view, and here for Landrieu’s argument in favor of revenue-sharing.)
Bingaman made clear that he’d prefer the issue not to come up at all in the drilling-safety markup. “I hope we are not bogged down with what I consider to be unrelated issues,” he said.
The revenue-sharing amendment is just one looming battle at the committee markup of legislation to overhaul and toughen federal offshore drilling oversight in the wake of the BP spill.
A senior GOP aide expects that Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will offer an amendment that would repeal a 2007 law that blocks the military from purchasing alternative fuels that have higher greenhouse-gas emissions than conventional petroleum fuels.
Barrasso and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — who both represent coal-producing states — have proposed wider alternative-fuels legislation that includes repeal of the Section 526 of the 2007 law.
The provision was aimed at thwarting military plans at the time to help develop a domestic industry to make coal-based jet fuels, and the provision has also raised fears in Canada that it could affect procurement of fuels from refineries that use Canadian oil sands.
Manchin told reporters Tuesday that he’s mulling an amendment at the markup, but declined to commit either way. He said he plans to speak to Bingaman, who opposes repealing the provision.
“You always look at every option you can and go from there,” Manchin said.
Senior-level military officials brought on under President Obama have defended Section 526 in recent days and weeks.
On Tuesday, Bingaman’s staff circulated a letter he received this month from Elizabeth King, the Defense Department’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, who wrote that the 2007 law has not prevented the department from meeting its mission needs.
“Further, repeal or exemption could hamper the Department’s efforts to provide better energy options to our warfighters and further increase America’s reliance on non-renewable fuels,” the letter states.
The GOP-controlled House, however, has voted this year to exempt the military from Section 526. Section 526 critics say it could prevent increased use of domestic energy sources.