U.S. Senator Mark Begich today met with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell to discuss Alaska's priorities--particularly revenue sharing for offshore resource development. Begich will also participate in Burwell's confirmation hearing as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
Following the President's announcement last week to put billions of dollars from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues into an Energy Security Trust, Begich pressed Burwell to do her part in making sure Alaska also gets its fair share of OCS revenues.
"This is just common sense--there is no reason Alaskans shouldn't receive the same benefits from resource development as residents of the Gulf Coast," said Begich. "But it is not enough to simply redirect revenues from the federal government to the state. That is why my bill specifically calls for sharing the revenues between the State of Alaska, the affected coastal communities, and Tribes."
Begich recently introduced a bill, the Alaska Adjacent Zone Safe Oil Transport and Revenue Sharing Act, which would secure a share of federal revenues from offshore oil and gas development for the State of Alaska and Alaska's coastal communities in an amount equal to what the Gulf States receive from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. It will provide support to state, local and tribal governments for public infrastructure required to develop the resources, address the impacts in affected communities and, if necessary, respond in times of emergency.
Begich's bill breaks down stakeholder sharing by providing Alaska with 37.5% of the federal bonus bids and royalty share from any energy development, fossil or renewable. Of that 37.5%:
* 25% is directed to local governments;
* 25% is directed to Alaska Native village and regional corporations;
* 10% is directed tribal governments;
* 40% goes to the State of Alaska.
Begich also welcomed a revenue sharing bill introduced today by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
"I applaud Sens. Landrieu and Murkowski for their efforts and look forward to working together to make sure Alaska gets our fair share," said Sen. Begich.