Bill involving oil, gas drilling royalties advances

Bill involving oil, gas drilling royalties advances

A bill that would start the process for Louisiana to borrow against a new stream of oil and gas drilling royalties to get advance cash for coastal restoration and protection projects has received approval from both the House and Senate.

The House unanimously agreed today to create a new, state-run public corporation, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Financing Corporation, that would manage the new Gulf of Mexico royalty money.

The corporation would be the mechanism for selling part of the oil and natural gas stream to investors, generating cash to start work immediately on storm protection, flood control and coastal restoration projects.

Otherwise, the state would have to wait at least ten years before the new royalties generate enough cash for large coastal protection projects.

The bill (Senate Bill 53) by Senator Reggie Dupre, of Montegut, already was approved by the Senate. The measure goes back to the Senate for approval of minor changes, then to Governor Kathleen Blanco, who supports the legislation.

Another layer of approval from lawmakers and the State Bond Commission would be needed before the oil and gas revenue stream could be sold to investors.

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