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Jefferson County
Jefferson County Judge's Office
News Release
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

National Association of Counties adopts Jefferson County resolutions to maintain status quo for GOMESA and future oil spill settlements

Beaumont - The National Association of Counties annual conference in Columbus, Ohio (July 20-24) adopted two resolutions by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick. The first resolution urges Congress to maintain the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act’s (GOMESA) revenue sharing provisions that benefit oil producing states, counties and parishes in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The second resolution opposes H.R. 732 that could restrict federal court settlement payments to coastal states, counties and parishes indirectly impacted by catastrophic pollution events such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

GOMESA was passed in 2006 and phase II of the act begins in 2017 extending until 2057. Under GOMESA Phase II, fifty percent of revenues consisting of bonus bid, rental, and royalty revenues, from leases in the Outer Continental Shelf’s Western and Central Gulf of Mexico regions will be shared with Gulf Producing States (37.5%) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (12.5%). GOMESA directs the funds for coastal environmental restoration projects.

Gulf Producing States (GPS) and their associated counties and parishes will divide funds from outer continental shelf (OCS) lease sales and production revenue according to formulas and geographic proximity to the leases and operating wells. At a minimum each GPS will receive 10% of the revenue shared with all GPS. For the first 40 years of GOMESA Phase II revenue sharing, the maximum amount available for sharing each year is $500 million, after which there is no maximum sharing amount. GOMESA Phase II annual revenues will be highly variable and dependent upon the auction prices of leases and the prices of crude oil and natural gas from offshore wells.

The language of Jefferson County’s GOMESA approved resolution is: “The National Association of Counties (NACo) urges that Congress oppose the Administration’s FY 2018 budget request to eliminate GOMESA’s revenue sharing with eligible states, counties, parishes and boroughs and redirect the funds to the U.S. Treasury.”

The second successfully adopted resolution would maintain the status quo approach for the distributing federal court settlements to indirect and diffuse impacts resulting from catastrophic environmental events such as the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills.

Jefferson County’s second resolution adopted by NACo states: “The National Association of Counties opposes regulatory actions or bills, such as the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act (H.R. 732), that would disallow funds derived from court settlements from being distributed to states, counties, parishes and boroughs, including those for injuries related to the environment.”

Remembering Jim Guidry

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