Coastal governors unite in push for offshore revenue-sharing bill

Currently, the federal government receives those royalties. Four Gulf Coast states are slated to receive a portion of those revenues beginning in 2017 — though that amount is capped at $500 million.

Sens. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiCommittee to vote on Zinke, Perry nominations Tuesday Trump, GOP set to battle on spending cuts What we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing MORE (R-Alaska), the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member, are working on legislation to change that.

And passing an offshore revenue-sharing bill is a high priority for Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron WydenRon WydenWounded Price heads toward confirmation Dems promise to stand up to FCC chair on net neutrality DeVos doesn’t know the ABCs of public education MORE (D-Ore.).

The framework of the Landrieu-Murkowski effort would lift the $500 million cap on revenues, increase the percentage of royalties given to states and include all coastal regions. It also would include provisions for revenues from renewable sources, such as offshore wind.

Parnell said his office has been in discussion with Murkowski’s about the bill, but did not provide any details.

McCrory, meanwhile, said many of his state’s offshore energy battles would take place at the White House.

North Carolina and other Atlantic Coast states are blocked from drilling for oil-and-gas offshore under President Obama’s five-year drilling plan, which runs through 2017.

While McCrory said his state would pursue developing offshore wind, he also wants to tap what’s underneath the water.

“We just want to have our hands untied by the executive branch,” McCrory said.

Congressional Republicans have criticized the Atlantic Coast restriction, noting a decades-long ban on drilling there expired in 2008. The White House had originally intended to allow energy production there, but scaled back its plans following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

McCrory and other Atlantic Coast governors sent a letter to Obama’s Interior secretary nominee, REI CEO Sally JewellSally JewellOvernight Energy: Rough hearing for Tillerson Interior proposes raising royalty rates on federal coal mining Overnight Energy: Former Exxon chief Tillerson takes the hot seat MORE, asking to re-examine the administration’s opposition to drilling off their shores.

McCrory said he plans to get the senators from his state to “get specific questions” answered about where Jewell stands on the issue during her confirmation hearing.