Should alternative energy production royalties help fund coastal restoration?

Lawmakers are considering letting voters decide whether royalties on alternative energy production should be redirected to Louisiana’s coastal restoration fund, The Center Square reports.

House Bill 300, by Rep. Joseph Orgeron, R-Cut Off, would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters to redirect the federal revenues “generated from Outer Continental Shelf alternative or renewable energy production sources, including wind energy, solar energy, tidal energy, wave energy, geothermal energy, and other alternative or renewable energy production or sources.”

Orgeron wrote a similar bill last year that ultimately died in the Senate. This year’s proposal is expected to be taken up by the House on Tuesday.

While the bill was going through the committee approval process, Orgeron said that if the change isn’t made, 25% of any Gulf alternative energy production royalties would go to the state’s Mineral and Energy Operations Fund and the remainder to the state’s General Fund. He stressed the need for the state to find new sources of revenue to fund coastal restoration projects, which are currently mostly funded through the Deepwater Horizon settlement, which ends in 2031.

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