Ed Markey’s Trying To Screw Louisiana Again

Our favorite left-wing Congressional nut is out to get us again.

The Times-Picayune reports today that Rep. Ed Markey (D-Soros) is attempting to strip the states of their share of offshore oil royalties, as the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee is trying to expand them.

“This program amounts to an oil-funded entitlement program for only a few states, a kind of oil-well welfare that drains our U.S. Treasury and chooses the interests of a few over those of all Americans,” said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee.

Markey and one of his enviro-loon minions, Rush Holt (D-NJ) have filed a bill that would do away with the state share, which is set to rise to 37.5 percent of the royalties by 2017. That’s Sen. Mary Landrieu’s crowning legislative achievement, thanks to her amendment to that effect in the 2006 Energy Security Act.

Markey’s attack on state oil royalties set off a nasty Democrat-on-Democrat battle, as Landrieu tore into him…

“Creating a partnership with coastal states to develop offshore energy resources that this country desperately needs will bring more money to the federal treasury, not less,” she said, suggesting that “all coastal states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, should consider what contribution they can make to our country’s energy needs, both onshore and offshore.”

“Instead of fighting this effort, Rep. Markey should join coastal senators in fighting for the dignity and respect coastal states deserve and to make sure these and other states get treated fairly as this production is increased,” she said.

The hearing at which these matters were discussed was actually called in support of legislation by committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) to expand royalty revenue in order to incentivize drilling off the Atlantic coast. From a release by the committee…

The House Natural Resources Committee today held a Full Committee oversight hearing on “State Perspectives on Offshore Revenue Sharing.”  The hearing featured testimony from representatives of coastal states and examined state interest in a fair, equitable revenue sharing plan for offshore revenues.

“I believe it’s crucial to recognize that revenue sharing will increase American energy production by creating new incentives for opening new offshore areas to drilling.  More American energy production equates to more jobs, a stronger economy, and more revenue,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “Currently the federal government is not collecting any revenue from energy production off the Atlantic Coast because this area is not open for exploration and production.  A revenue sharing proposal would help spur energy development in the Atlantic and other offshore areas, generating new revenue for the federal government.”

Of course, Rep. Jeff Landry is a member of the Natural Resources Committee, and when he was able to pursue these questions with Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority chairman Garrett Graves it made for great television…

Landry and Landrieu aren’t the only critics of Markey’s nonsensical legislative meanderings. National Review’s Iain Murray took him to task for his “posturing…”

Unfortunately for Markey, the CBO score for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act that allowed this revenue-sharing found that, by expanding the amount of drilling, it resulted in a $900 million reduction in spending from 2008-2016, not a reduction in revenues.

Moreover, revenue sharing is capped at $500 million a year, meaning that it would take 300 years to claw back $150 billion from those greedy states — and that’s not counting the reduction in drilling that would result from such a short-sighted measure.

Now if Markey were really interested in increasing revenues, he’d be asking for more drilling in federal waters, now.

But Hastings had perhaps the best analysis of the assault on coastal state revenues. “It’s interesting to note that the firmest opponents of offshore revenue sharing are the same people who fundamentally oppose offshore drilling,” he said. “This is quite a contorted argument to make — that revenue sharing unfairly gives away federal revenues, when if they had their way, we wouldn’t be collecting revenue from offshore drilling in the first place.”

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