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Landrieu Says Revenue Sharing, Not Lawsuit, Will Benefit Coastal Renewal

Ann Marie Awad

Senator Mary Landrieu says a lawsuit against oil and gas companies is not the answer to renewing Louisiana’s gulf coast.

When asked at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday if she supported the lawsuit by a southeastern Louisiana levee board against scores of oil and gas companies, Senator Landrieu said no. Instead, she says, Gulf states should get a bigger piece of the pie when it comes to revenue from oil leases. And she says oil leases earn the federal government quite a bit of money.

"It’s about $8 to $9 billion a year that comes off the coast of Louisiana and texas and goes directly to the general fund of the united states," she said.

She says if state got more of that money, it could be a reliable source of funding for projects that benefit the coast.

Landrieu, who was recently made chair of the powerful senate energy committee, helped pass a 2006 law which is allowing energy producing states to take home a greater share of the revenue earned from certain oil leases than they used to. However, that share is capped at $500 million, a cap Landrieu is aiming to get rid of.