Administration Spares GOMESA in Fiscal Year 2019 Proposal
GOMESA was essentially left alone in the 2019 budget proposal, but that hasn’t always been the case.
We have good news! The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) is safe in the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 proposed budget. GOMESA provides for offshore oil revenues to go back to the Gulf states, to compensate for impacts associated with oil drilling off their coasts. The funding can help rebuild coastal habitat and wetlands and mitigate damage to wildlife or natural resources.
Perhaps nowhere is this revenue stream more critical than in Louisiana, where voters overwhelmingly decided to constitutionally dedicate every GOMESA dollar to its Coastal Protection and Restoration Trust Fund. It will serve as a critically important and consistent funding source for coastal restoration in Louisiana over the next few decades.
We are relieved that GOMESA was essentially left alone in this budget proposal, but that hasn’t always been the case. Last summer, the Administration proposed to repeal GOMESA in its budget. In response, 283 businesses, civic associations, and parishes in Louisiana sent a letter asking for reinstatement of GOMESA funding. This powerful message was sent to the White House, Department of Interior, Council on Environmental Quality and the Congressional delegation. Another letter was sent in 2016 after a similar repeal was proposed by the Obama Administration.
The outcome of this year’s appropriations remains unknown, but we can count it as a huge win that the program is safe in the next fiscal year.