This month, the National Association of Counties (NACo) held its annual business meeting in Washington, where Louisiana parishes and Texas counties united to pass two NACo resolutions to secure more funding from GOMESA and to resume offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson along with Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick and Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales sponsored a resolution aimed at increasing the Gulf State’s share of GOMESA revenue from 37.5% to 50% and removing the existing cap of $375 million. “These dollars are vital as we work to strengthen our coast and provide the flood protection we need to our communities,” said President Archie Chaisson.
The second resolution sponsored by the three officials urges President Biden to resume the lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. Several months ago, President Biden paused lease sales as he unveiled his new climate action plan. “Continued leasing in the Gulf is key to a low carbon future,” said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick whose coastal county borders Louisiana. “No one does it better, cleaner, or more efficiently than we do in the Gulf’s US waters and that’s proven by lower emissions, lower carbon intensity, and a spill rate that is lower than any other producing region in the world.”
“Coastal counties deserve the same 50% federal royalty paid to onshore energy producing states,” said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales. “Lease sales are critical in providing revenue not only to coastal counties but to the Gulf States and the nation to help fund infrastructure, and coastal restoration projects.” Gulf production funds conservation projects across the country through programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Great American Outdoors Act.
“This resolution, at the end of the day, is asking the President to follow the law. Moreover, it is about putting our constituents back to work and making our country energy independent again,” said President Archie Chaisson.
Judges Branick and Canales were elected co-chairs of the Gulf Coast Counties and Parishes Caucus at the NACo conference.