House votes to give Gulf states billions more in offshore oil revenue

This change would start in 2023 and last through 2055, giving these states more than $8 billion over that time period, in addition to the roughly $16 billion they are already slated to receive in those years.

ADVERTISEMENT
In Wednesday night's debate, Landry argued that the money would help Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and his home state of Louisiana to use more of the offshore oil revenue they create for environmental protection. He also said the language would move these states "a little closer to what ... onshore states currently enjoy" in terms of revenue-sharing.

The proposal was criticized by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who said GOMESA, signed into law in 2006, already gave the four Gulf states plenty of revenue. "I just think it's time for your region to give a little back to the other 46 States in the Union that didn't benefit from that 2006 giveaway to you," he said Wednesday.

Landry disagreed, and implied that most, if not all, of the money added would go toward environmental protection.

"This is buying us an insurance policy that the other 46 states, who I know have been so generous to help us when hurricanes ravage our coast, this helps to protect us," he said. "And I know that the gentleman from Massachusetts would love to protect the environment in Louisiana."

Back in February, the House approved similar language from Landry as an amendment to H.R. 3408, another GOP energy bill. That bill has gone no where in the Senate, a fate the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act could share.

In February, Landry's proposal won by a larger margin, 266-159.

Landry's amendment was one of more than two dozen that the House considered this week, some of which were disposed of on Wednesday. The House also accepted language from Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) to require the secretary of the Interior to conduct a specific offshore lease sale off the coast of Virginia. That proposal was accepted in a 263-146 vote.

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) had prepared an amendment that would have required the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline within 30 days of its submission. However, he never offered it.

The House rejected most of the other amendments from Democrats. Roll-call vote results follow here on amendments from:

• Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), to make technical corrections, reduce additional impediments to rights-of-way to access energy on National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska, and require concurrence of affected agencies in implementation of the oil-and-gas plan in Title I. Passed 253-163.

• Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), to prohibit the administrator of the EPA from delaying the finalization of any rules affecting gasoline and refineries. Failed 164-249.

• Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), to define "public health" to mean the "health of members of the species homo sapiens, and does not refer to the health of corporations or any other non-living entities." Failed 177-242.

• Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), to strike section 206 of the bill, which would require the consideration of feasibility and costs in revising or supplementing national ambient air quality standards for ozone. Failed 174-244.

• Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), to waive the need for a study if the administrator of the Energy Information Administration makes a determination that implementation of the bill is projected to lower gasoline prices or create jobs in the U.S. within 10 years. Failed 164-255.

• Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), to hold that the four-year onshore oil-and-gas leasing plan should implement a "use it or lose it" policy. Failed 164-256.

• Connolly, to eliminate language requiring formal protests of drilling applications to pay a $5,000 processing fee. Failed 190-230.

• Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), to prohibit the secretary of the Interior from moving any aspect of the Solid Minerals program administered by the Bureau of Land Management to the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement. Passed 257-162.

• Markey, to ban the export of any oil and gas produced under the bill. Failed 163-256.

• Holt, to limit the pool of applicants for leases to those who are not engaging in deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico unless they re-negotiate those leases to pay more. Failed 168-250.

• Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), to streamline the process to approve temporary infrastructure, such as towers or buoys, to test and develop offshore wind power in the OCS. Passed 256-161.

• Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), to require the Transportation Fuels Regulatory Committee to conduct an analysis of how to shield American consumers and the U.S. economy from gasoline price fluctuations and supply disruptions by reducing the use of oil. Failed 186-233.

• Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), to hold that a study would not be conducted if the secretary of Energy determines that the cumulative analyses of gasoline and refinery rules are infeasible to conduct, require data that does not exist or would generally result in large estimates of uncertainty that the results would be neither reliable nor useful. Failed 162-254.

• Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), to remove the requirement for drilling permits to be considered within 60 days. Failed 162-255.

• Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), to shift $128 million in oil and gas revenues to fully fund the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to "limit speculation in energy markets." Failed 180-235.

Three other amendments were adopted on Thursday by voice vote, from:

• Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), to lessen the regulatory burden on deli-style display cases by putting Service-Over-the-Counter refrigerator units in a separate product classification.

• Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), to include in the Quadrennial Federal Onshore Energy Production Strategy the best estimate of the expected increase in domestic production of renewable energy on the Hawaiian Home Lands.

• Bass, to establish a Department of the Interior Office of Energy Employment and Training, and an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion that would be responsible for all matters relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities.

One other amendment was not offered, from Bass, that would have required the Transportation Fuels Regulatory Committee to assess pollutant releases, human exposures and environmental impacts.