In a federal budget proposal released Tuesday, President Trump has included cuts that would throw a wrench in Louisiana’s plans for coastal protection and restoration.
The fiscal year 2018 budget plan titled A New Foundation for American Greatness proposes to eliminate funding for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). Passed in 2006, GOMESA calls for the sharing of 37.5% of oil revenues from offshore drilling with Gulf Coast states. These funds aim to help oil-producing states pay for coastal wetlands conservation, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection projects.
The proposed cut comes at a time when Louisiana would finally see the real benefits of GOMESA. Full funding from GOMESA will begin in 2018 and is expected to contribute about $120-140 million to Louisiana each year.
Repealing GOMESA would add additional hurdles to funding the state’s 50-year, $50 billion Coastal Master Plan – a plan that, as it is, has only located about a third of the funds needed for full implementation.
Following the release of the budget proposal, Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement urging Louisiana’s congressional delegation and fellow oil-producing states to oppose this plan, saying that the proposal ignores the national significance of the Gulf Coast. Read the Governor’s Full Statement.
It’s imperative that GOMESA remains intact so that Louisiana and its oil-producing neighbors can continue serving the nation’s energy needs. GOMESA is Louisiana’s only source of recurring revenue from the federal government for coastal restoration and protection projects and this revenue has been included in planning forecasts.
Tell Congress to say NO to this proposal. Act now to save this vital source of funding for coastal protection in Louisiana.
Click here for the full text of the budget proposal.