House Votes for Coastal Restoration and Energy Freedom
House approves Jindal amendment that brings billions to Louisiana; Congressman Jindal urges Senate to quickly pass the national energy bill
Washington, Apr 21 - Congressman Bobby Jindal (LA-01) today voted for H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and applauded his colleagues in the House for passing the bill, which enacts the nation's first comprehensive energy plan and brings much needed money to Louisiana for coastal restoration.
"This is one of the most important pieces of legislation the House will pass this year," Jindal said. "The energy bill's benefits for Louisiana are extensive, especially because it includes an authorization for billions of dollars to be reinvested in Louisiana for coastal restoration. I am proud to have joined a vast majority of my colleagues in voting for the bill and I urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill so its benefits take effect."
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, as passed by the House, contains provisions added by Congressman Jindal when the bill was debated by the House Resources Committee to bring billions of dollars to Louisiana for coastal restoration. The funding, part of a reinvestment of offshore drilling royalties in states that drilling occurs, will bring more than $350 million to Louisiana over the next 10 years and more than $1 billion per year after that. In addition, Louisiana will get $30 million immediately.
"Bobby Jindal rolled up his sleeves and worked hard to make sure this important coastal restoration issue was addressed in the comprehensive Energy Bill," said House Majority Whip Roy Blunt. "Congressman Jindal has demonstrated impressive legislative know-how since he has been in Congress, and this victory for his constituents will ensure that Louisiana benefits from its abundant natural resources."
In addition to the large funding for coastal restoration, the energy bill has great benefits for the state and the country. The bill sets a plan to break the country's dependence on foreign sources of energy by increasing incentives for production at home, encouraging conservation and developing alternative energy sources.
"America needs this energy bill," Jindal continued. "Our country is too dependent on foreign energy, we pay too much at the gas pumps and our businesses are threatened by the increasing cost of energy. This long overdue bill starts the process to fix all of those problems. This bill lets the United States truly take control of its energy needs for the first time."
"The energy bill, additionally, contains provisions that will bring great benefits to Louisiana," Jindal added. "The benefits of this bill, from coastal restoration dollars to incentives that benefit local companies to a plan that breaks the hold of foreign oil sources, make its passage a monumental day for all of us."
The energy bill includes language that enacts the following for Louisiana:
- The "Domestic Offshore Energy Reinvestment" provision returns a portion of money collected by the federal government as a result of offshore drilling to affected states. Under the allocation, Louisiana will receive more than $350 million over the next 10 years. That number grows to a minimum of $1 billion a year beginning in FY 2016. A similar provision was added last Congress when the energy bill went to conference between the House and the Senate, but this is the first time it has ever been added during a committee mark-up.
- The "Royalty Payments Under Certain Leases" provision rectifies a decade old problem in Louisiana. Federal land lessees drained energy resources from state-leased land in violation of existing agreements. This provision allows the state lessees to make payments to the state, rather than the federal government, in order to rectify the royalty loss. This provision should bring as much as $30 million to Louisiana as soon as the bill becomes law.
- The "Livingston Parish Mineral Rights Transfer" provision returns mineral rights to private land owners in Livingston Parish.
- Provisions to allow royalty relief and incentives for experimentation in the harvesting of alternative energy, especially for sources on the Outer Continental Shelf. These provisions bring the opportunity for entrepreneurship to Louisiana companies looking to develop and market alternative fuel sources. One company, for example, is working to construct the world's first bioethanol manufacturing facility. Their facility will utilize a process to turn sugar, among other products, into an energy source, helping Louisiana's sugar farmers.
- Provisions that provide incentives and royalty relief for deep water drilling. These provisions will increase the ability of companies to take advantage of the resources available off Louisiana's shores and, in return, bring added revenue to the state.
- Provisions to protect small refineries by giving them leeway to accept spikes in their processing without losing the classification of a small refinery.
- Provisions to assist in royalty payment for natural gas royalties, protecting companies from hardships that would devastate the natural gas levels of the country.