WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) commended President Trump and his administration for actions this week that would promote royalty relief and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens on offshore energy producers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since coming to the House of Representatives, Congressman Higgins has called on the Department of Interior to include royalty relief as part of its offshore energy strategy. In a letter to former Secretary Ryan Zinke dated in August 2017, Congressman Higgins outlined how royalty relief would increase energy exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf. View that letter here. Since then, Congressman Higgins has maintained contact with the Department to ensure royalty relief remained a top priority.

Research released earlier this week from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) suggests that high royalty rates are blocking $20 billion in shallow water energy projects. Following this report, BOEM will publish discount rates for the Shallow Water Province and the Deepwater Province in the Gulf of Mexico. BSEE will also have the authority to consider applications for royalty relief on a “per project” basis. This adds greater flexibility within the Executive and will encourage new oil and gas projects. That means high-paying jobs for Louisiana.

Additionally, the Department of Interior is moving forward with a rule that repeals Obama-era bonding regulation on offshore oil and gas producers. These regulations significantly reduced offshore exploration and drilling. Congressman Higgins met with oil and gas executives in DC on November 13, 2019, and then again with White House Senior Staff on November 14, 2019, when he encouraged the administration to publish the new rule. Six days later, President Trump’s Executive Branch delivered a win for Louisiana and America. See the ruling here.

The Gulf Energy Alliance sent Congressman Higgins a letter thanking him for his actions. Read that letter here.

Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“My office has pushed for royalty relief on the federal level since coming to Congress. Lowering or waiving rates encourages oil and gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m uplifted that royalty relief is receiving serious consideration from President Trump and his administration, and I’m grateful for their continued efforts to eliminate overly burdensome regulations. Further, Obama-era bonding requirements are incredibly damaging to offshore energy production. They must be repealed. We are working closely with the President, and my office is doing everything possible at the federal level to support the oil and gas industry. We intend to bring energy jobs back to Louisiana.

“The Executive Branch in DC is working with our congressional office to bring solid oil and gas jobs back to the Gulf Coast. I’m prayerful that the Executive Branch in Baton Rouge will allow these jobs to flourish in Louisiana by pushing back on the toxic legal environment, which has targeted the oil and gas industry in our State and stifled economic growth.”

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