Our region doesn’t get nearly as much federal help restoring our coast as we need.
But Louisiana and our local parishes do get some assistance, and this year the amount is nearly $100 million.
Under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA, Louisiana and other Gulf states get a share of the oil money taken in by the federal government for offshore drilling. This year, Louisiana is getting $95 million, and Terrebonne and Lafourche combined will get nearly $2.5 million of that. The parishes will coordinate with the state on the projects they can manage locally that contribute to the long-term master plan.
This is a significant amount of money that will go a long way toward paying for projects that are necessary in fighting back the encroaching Gulf.
“Energy-producing states along the Gulf Coast have waited a long time to start getting a fair share of offshore energy revenues, especially in Louisiana – where the Gulf has eroded over 2,000 square miles of our coast,” said Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, whose district includes the parishes’ northern reaches. “Every single penny of this funding will be invested in urgent coastal-restoration and hurricane-protection efforts to protect Louisiana lives, communities, culture and a nationally-important economic engine responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all offshore energy production in federal waters in the United States.”
Terrebonne is set to get $1.45 million, and Lafourche will get $980,000. And the money will be put to good use.
GOMESA has been a valuable tool for funneling some of the oil money back to the coastal states that help the oil production so much. And the really good news is that as oil prices have rebounded some from their lows a few years ago, oil royalties – and our share of them – have gone up as well.
GOMESA has been the target of numerous plans that would have returned the states’ money to the larger federal budget. But so far at least, Louisiana lawmakers and their colleagues across the coast have fought off those attempts.
For the sake of our coastal battles, let us hope that this important source of money remains intact. It gives us a stream of money, though far from adequate, that we can use to protect our homes, businesses and lives.
Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.