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Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Exploration Strengthens Land and Water Conservation Fund

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Department of the Interior’s proposed five-year offshore leasing program could deliver millions of dollars in additional funding for conservation and outdoor recreation projects

TALLAHASSEE, March 12, 2019 – Today, the Florida Petroleum Council welcomed the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) into law as part of the public lands bill, S. 47 (116).

“With programs like these, 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 – with the majority of the funding coming from offshore oil and natural gas development,” said Florida Petroleum Council Executive Director David Mica. “As federal officials develop the new offshore leasing program, they should consider the great opportunity at hand to support programs like these, both at the state and the federal level.

“The U.S. – with its strict environmental regulations and safety policies – coupled with industry’s best practices and advanced technologies, is better positioned than other nations to safely and responsibly develop its offshore energy. There is no doubt that a robust offshore blueprint for the future would benefit Florida and help to fulfill national goals for existing domestic energy and economic needs and opportunities.” 

API recently released studies showing that increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) could generate billions in industry spending and federal revenue streams that could be shared with Florida and numerous states along America’s coasts. In fact, this is already happening under GOMESA through offshore-supported LWCF grants across the country and general revenue-sharing agreements that the federal government already has with the other four Gulf Coast states. In 2018 alone, LWCF received $893 million that was disbursed among the states.

The Florida Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.