Sen. Wyden sees 'third path' on offshore drilling royalties

ADVERTISEMENT
Wyden's optimism is good news for Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuMeet Mitch Landrieu, the 2020 dark-horse Dem Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory MORE (D-La.), who plans to forge ahead with a royalties bill next Congress, after her most recent one floundered in 2011.

“The Senator is encouraged that the Energy Committee will have a chairman that understands why revenue sharing is critical for the country’s energy security and coastal restoration efforts in the Gulf. She looks forward to working with him to make full and fair revenue sharing from all federal lands a reality for Louisiana and the entire country,” Landrieu spokesman Matthew Lehner said in a Thursday statement to The Hill.

Landrieu’s staff has said Wyden appeared amenable to working on the royalties issue when it was up for committee vote. But retiring Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) held up the bill, arguing those revenues should go directly to the federal government.

Landrieu’s bill would have lifted a $500 million cap on offshore drilling royalties given to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. It also would have permitted the states to begin collecting those payments in 2015, rather than 2017.

The bill also established a revenue-sharing mechanism for federal offshore wind projects, with an eye toward winning support from Pacific Northwest committee members like Wyden and Sen. Maria CantwellMaria CantwellDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (D-Wash.).