Revenues from the outer continental shelf drilling operations at present go
into the nation's general fund. If S 25 or HR 701 are enacted, these
revenues would be divided between the states and the federal government
according to specific formula. The exact amounts available for distribution
would depend on the amount of revenue generated on a yearly basis. At
present the amount is between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. That would
be increased if states lift the moratorium on drilling.
The total would be divided on a straight 50-50 basis in S 25. HR 701 splits
the take at 60 percent to the "stateside" section, 40 percent to the federal
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CARA subdivides this second portion into three parts called Titles.
- Title I establishes the Outer Continental Shelf Impact Assistance
Fund. In both bills 27 percent of federal revenues from OCS oil and gas
production would be deposited in the fund, then distributed between 34
alleged "coastal" states -- which to ensure passage include the Great Lakes
states, even though these have permanent moratoria on oil drilling and are
"They put the Great Lakes states in because there are a hundred votes in the
House from those states," said Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise
Institute. "Out of 435 votes, a hundred are from New York, Michigan,
Wisconsin, Illinois and so on. After the money is spread around, Louisiana
will only get about $350 million (in Title I) -- but that's better than
State and local governments can use the money for parks, sewage systems,
restoring wetlands, building Little League fields, hockey rinks --
"basically anything they want to," said Ebell, including land purchases.
- Title II amends the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965,
which created an account into which offshore royalties money were to be
placed to provide up to $900 million a year for land purchases by the
federal government, subject to congressional approval and appropriation.
In recent years Congress has limited appropriations to $200 million to $300
million a year.
Both S 25 and HR 701 restore the Land and Conservation Fund (LWCF) to its
original level, but relieves Congress of its oversight role.
Under CARA, 16 percent (S 25) or 23 percent (HR 701) of the federal revenue
from OCS oil and gas production would be deposited in the Land and Water
Conservation Fund up to the current authorized level of $900 million.
Title II: Federal Share: 45 percent (S 25) or 42 percent (HR 701) of
the authorized LWCF money would be automatically distributed according to
formulae between the Forest Service, the National Parks Service, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management -- to be used
exclusively for land acquisition, with purchases limited to land within
congressionally designated boundaries.
Total allocated funds for federal land purchases would be capped at $330
million (S 25) or $378 million (HR 701) a year.
Under the plan, two-thirds of the LWCF money must be spent on land east of
the 100th meridian, which runs through Texas and includes the
Midwest and Great Lakes states.
Condemnation, taking private land for public use, would be prohibited for
federal acquisitions and purchases restricted to "willing sellers."
Congressional approval required for purchases over $5 million (S 25) or
$1 million (HR 701).
Title II: Stateside Share: 45 percent (S 25) or 42 percent (HR
701) of the authorized LWCF money would be distributed on a
dollar-for-dollar matching fund basis among the states for land acquisition
and development according to certain formulae. Land and Water Conservation
Fund money cannot be used to cover more than 50 percent of the costs of
state and local land acquisitions, development or planning.
Under Title II, states must distribute 50 percent of the money received to
Condemnation would not be prohibited for state and local land purchases.
Indian tribes and native corporations would be treated collectively as one
Title II: Urban Parks: 10 percent (S 25) or 16 percent (HR 701) of
the authorized LWCF money would go to local governments for the Urban Parks
and Recreation Recovery Program.
- Title III creates an additional revenue stream for the fund
established by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (the
Pittman-Robertson Act). The Pittman-Robertson Act established a special
account -- funded by an excise tax on guns, ammunition, and fishing
equipment -- with the proceeds to be distributed to state fish and game
departments to improve their conservation projects.
"The money goes for fisheries, game nurseries, that sort of thing," said
Myron Ebell. "It's never excited a great deal of controversy. Title III
would be a new revenue source from offshore oil money; it's a way to buy the
support of state governors, fish and game departments, and the sporting
community -- the hunters and fishermen."
Under CARA, 7 percent (S 25) or 10 percent (HR 701) of the OCS money would
be deposited in a fund and distributed without further appropriation or
approval by Congress to state fish and game/wildlife departments according
to a formula, to be used for wildlife conservation and restoration projects
and programs -- including land acquisition -- approved by the Interior
Secretary under Pittman-Robertson.
The plan allows funds to be used for law enforcement and public relations.
Ebell predicts that through the public relations provision moneys will be
used to promote "environmental propaganda."