Letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Georgia Republicans Call for Sensible OCS Drilling Plan

Letter

By:  Jack Kingston
Date: Sept. 12, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

Georgia Republicans Call for Sensible OCS Drilling Plan

Georgia Republicans issued the following statement after sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi voicing concerns on a proposed plan that could permit drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. The proposal is expected to allow states like Georgia to "opt-in," but does not include federal-state revenue sharing, as is practiced in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Rep. Price reached out to Georgia Democrats on the issue, but none elected to join Republicans and call for Georgia's fair share.

Rep. Jack Kingston (1st District):

"Georgia and all coastal states should be given the option to open our offshore American resources," Congressman Kingston said, "and we should be able to operate on the same playing field as other states. Not only will it promote our energy independence but royalty revenues like these could be helpful in offsetting the price of children's health care and speeding the development of alternative energy."

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (3rd District):

"Georgians are more than willing to do our part to contribute to our nation's energy independence. We don't ask for much in return, except to be treated like every other state that allows drilling offshore. We have a precedent on how the federal government handles this issue. I don't know why we'd change it, and I don't believe the Constitution allows for the people of Georgia to be treated differently than the people of Louisiana."

Rep. Tom Price (6th District):

"The American people won't be fooled by a half-measure like this "drilling' proposal. If revenue is not shared, like has historically been the case, states have little incentive to opt-in to this program. Speaker Pelosi has cynically called drilling a 'hoax', and with this bill, she has shown what a hoax her plan is. I call on her to allow the House to have an up or down vote on a positive, all-of-the-above energy plan for American-made energy for Americans."

Rep. Nathan Deal (9th District):

"There's been concern that there would be some sort of poison pill buried in Speaker Pelosi's energy proposal. But if her plan does in fact deny revenue sharing to the states that conduct OCS drilling, it will be very obvious that her new-found concern over the energy issue is politically driven and not genuine at all. If this language is not included, Georgians and other southern states lose."

Rep. Phil Gingrey (11th District):

"For months, House Republicans have called on Speaker Pelosi to allow a vote on an "all-of-the-above' energy plan to provide relief from skyrocketing gas prices for hardworking American families. Instead, what the Democratic leadership is advancing is the "NOT-A' energy plan - the "None of the Above' energy plan. Speaker Pelosi says she'll allow offshore drilling, but only her way: a plan which denies revenue-sharing to the very states who boldly decide to allow energy exploration off their shores. Exactly how many states does Pelosi think will sign up for this? She's counting on zero. This proposal will deliver little -- if any -- expanded drilling, and is unacceptable to the American people who have asked Congress for solutions instead of political grandstanding."

TEXT OF LETTER:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Office of the Speaker
H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

It has been reported that the House may soon consider legislation authorizing development of some of the outer-continental oil and natural gas resources off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and possibly Florida. There have been rumors that this legislation will not include provisions to provide the traditional revenue sharing between the federal government and these states for the income generated from these developments.

As you are aware, the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama all benefit from revenue sharing for the development of the resources off of their coasts. In addition, previous proposals considered by the House and proposals currently under consideration in the Senate to expand the development of outer-continental resources have all included generous revenue sharing proposals. Revenue sharing provides critical finances to states and serves as an important incentive for the development of our resources.

We are deeply troubled by the prospect that our states would be treated differently under the proposal you are reportedly preparing for House consideration. Failure to include revenue sharing provisions would unfairly punish our states. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to include revenue sharing for our states on-par with the provisions applicable to other states.

If your proposal fails to include revenue sharing provisions that treat our states equitably we will only be able to conclude that either you are not serious about allowing our states the option to develop our outer-continental resources or that for some unknown reason you seek to deny our states financial resources that are available to other states.