Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07), Congressman Randy Weber (TX-14), and Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) introduced the bipartisan Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act. This legislation would help protect coastal communities by creating a new stream of funding for coastal infrastructure and flood resiliency projects and help incentivize new clean energy projects.
"Along the Texas Gulf Coast, we know all too well the devastating impacts of flooding and disasters as well as the way that visionary projects can help protect our communities," said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. "The RISEE Act will help make it possible for us to invest in these vital, visionary coastal protection projects by providing a more permanent funding source for them. I am glad to partner with Congressman Rice, Congressman Weber, and Congresswoman Luria to introduce this legislation to protect our communities, our ecosystems, and our economy."
"The Palmetto State is all too familiar with the dangers of flooding and natural disasters," said Congressman Tom Rice. "As we prepare for the effects of Hurricane Ian, I am proud to sponsor legislation that will protect our coastal communities from these unforeseen tragedies. The RISEE Act will protect vulnerable areas by ensuring there is adequate funding for coastal infrastructure and flood resiliency projects. Thank you to the bipartisan group of lawmakers including Congresswoman Fletcher, Congressman Weber, and Congresswoman Luria for helping introduce this important legislation."
"The Texas Gulf Coast is home to millions of people, countless homes and jobs, and numerous refineries," said Congressman Randy Weber. "The RISEE Act would advance critical restoration and resilience projects to ensure our coastline has the necessary investments to help protect against future storms. This is vital for the Gulf Coast region and our nation."
"Coastal Virginia is on the front lines of climate change, and the RISEE Act will invest in critical infrastructure projects to protect our most vulnerable communities," said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. "As the founder of the Offshore Wind Caucus, I have been a strong supporter of Virginia's growing offshore wind industry. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation that will be used to combat climate change, respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, restore coastal habitats, and invest in resilient infrastructure."
Current law requires all revenues generated from offshore wind leases and production beyond six nautical miles from states be sent to the U.S. Treasury. The RISEE Act would amend this to send 50 percent of offshore wind revenue to states within 75 miles of offshore wind farms. By sharing offshore wind revenues with nearby states, the RISEE Act offers incentives for state and local governments to facilitate successful siting processes and to get turbines up and running in their regions. The RISEE Act will allow for more equitable resource sharing between states, the federal government, and conservation programs.
State funds from offshore wind revenue could be used:
- For coastal restoration, hurricane protection, or resiliency infrastructure;
- To mitigate damage to fish, wildlife, or other natural resources, including through fisheries science and research; or
- To implement a marine, coastal, or conservation management plan.
Additionally, 37.5 percent of offshore wind revenues would serve as a further dedicated funding source for the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund (NOCSF). This fund provides competitive grants to coastal communities to respond to coastal erosion and sea level rise, restore coastal habitat, and make improvements to coastal infrastructure.
The RISEE Act would also amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) to create a new stream of funding by equalizing mineral rights revenues for offshore leases and devoting that money to coastal resiliency and flood mitigation projects.
The bill amends GOMESA by:
Eliminating the state revenue sharing cap, currently at $375 million;
Lifting the Land & Water Conservation Fund's state side funding cap of $125 million;
Adding the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund (NOCSF) as a fourth GOMESA equity (12.5%);
Making oil and gas leases from 2000-2006 eligible for future GOMESA payments to Gulf Coast states and the NOCSF. Currently, only leases from 2007 to present are eligible for GOMESA payments. EIA reports 11 new oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico that will contribute to the overall growth in U.S. production are GOMESA eligible under current law, and another eight would qualify under this proposed change; and
Protecting GOMESA revenues from sequestration.
The RISEE Act has been endorsed by the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Foundation, and the National Audubon Society.