More than $25 million will be paid to four Gulf Coast states and communities as their share of oil and gas bonuses and leases from the latest federal Gulf of Mexico lease sale, US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Mar. 23.
"These funds will provide an important boost to communities at a moment when they need it most," the secretary said.
The payments are the first under the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which provides that the state and local governments receive 37.5% of qualified revenue from certain federal Outer Continental Shelf leases. Most of the $25.2 million which will be disbursed were shares of OCS Lease Sales No. 224 and 206 on Mar. 19. Lease Sale No. 205 on Oct. 3, 2007, contributed a small percentage, according to the US Department of the Interior.
Under the distribution, Alabama will receive nearly $6.2 million, Louisiana $6.3 million, Mississippi more than $5.5 million and Texas nearly $2.2 million. Forty-two eligible political subdivisions will receive more than $5 million, including more than $1.5 million to counties in Alabama, nearly $1.6 million to parishes in Louisiana, nearly $1.4 million to political subdivisions in Mississippi, and $539,849.92 to counties in Texas, DOI said.
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