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Interior gives $30.6 million to Alabama in Gulf oil, gas revenues

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced Thursday that the department would disburse almost $30.6 million to Alabama and its coastal Baldwin and Mobile counties on Friday.

This represents the second disbursement under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. The funds are derived from qualified oil and gas leasing revenues on the Outer Continental Shelf and disbursed in accordance with the revenue-sharing provisions of the GOMESA legislation.

“Under President (Donald) Trump’s leadership, interior continues to deliver on the promise of advancing American energy security and economic prosperity,” Bernhardt said. “These disbursements shared directly with the Gulf producing states and local communities are a direct result of the responsible development of our energy resources.”

“As one of the gulf states, it’s imperative that our diverse coastal areas are preserved for future generations to experience and enjoy,” said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. “I appreciate the U.S. Department of Interior for disbursing this much needed GOMESA funding to Alabama, which will allow us to enhance our conservation, restoration and hurricane preparedness efforts on the Gulf Coast.”

“I am excited about the GOMESA funds announced today to go towards our continuing coastal restoration and environmental protection efforts in Southwest Alabama,” said Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose. “I have consistently fought to protect this program to continue its outstanding record of providing important funding to the Gulf Coast. Our coastal counties are blessed with an amazingly diverse and important ecosystem, and it is up to us to take care of these natural resources. I will continue to be a strong advocate for this important program.”

During fiscal year 2018, Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed approximately $76 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and $309 million to the U.S. Treasury from bonuses, rentals, and royalties paid for GOMESA leases. As required by the legislation, disbursements to LWCF and Treasury are made in the same year of receipt; disbursements to the states and CPS are made the year following the year of receipt.

To see more about the revenue-sharing allocations and disbursement detail for the FY 2018 receipts go to the Department’s website.

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The State of Alabama will receive $24,476,087.60. Baldwin County will receive $2,751,485.44. Mobile County will receive $3,367,536.46. The total disbursement to Alabama is $30,595,109.50.

GOMESA Phase-II disbursements will fund important coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection projects.

The Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue manages and ensures full payment of revenues owed for the development of the nation’s energy and natural resources on the Outer Continental Shelf and onshore Federal and Indian lands. In performing this important fiduciary role, ONRR collects an average of over $10 billion dollars in annual revenue — one of the Federal government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue.

The United States is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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