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API applauds House passage of bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund

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WASHINGTON, February 26, 2019 – Today, the American Petroleum Institute released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Natural Resources Management Act, which includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill next heads to the President’s desk.

“We applaud Congress for coming together to pass the Natural Resources Management Act—which includes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This fund will allow for a permanent and substantial revenue stream for water conservation programs, wildlife habitats, national parks, and outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing with basically no expense to the American taxpayer,” said API Vice President for Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. 

“This program, which is almost entirely paid for by natural gas and oil production in federal offshore waters, is critical to not only protecting our environment but also to boosting local economies across the country, creating jobs in the outdoor industry and supporting rural communities. In 2018 alone, LWCF received $893 million that was disbursed among the states. Florida alone received over $1 billion in federal funding over the past 50 years to invest into conservation of the state’s unique nature habitats and wildlife.”

Historically, much of the funding for LWCF has come from offshore natural gas and oil development, and the fund has the potential to become an even stronger source of revenue for states and bring millions of dollars in additional funding for conservation and outdoor recreation projects, if additional federal waters are opened to natural gas and oil production as part of the Department of the Interior’s proposed five-year offshore leasing program. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 expired on September 30, 2018, after decades of funding conservation projects and helping to strengthen communities. Energy revenue disbursements are often the second-highest federal revenue generator after taxes, and fund important conservation programs across the nation. 

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.