A group of 10 senators, from both the Republican and Democratic parties, is sponsoring the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems, or RISEE, Act, aiming to increase funding for coastal infrastructure and resiliency to protect vulnerable communities and businesses most impacted by sea-level rise and coastal erosion.
The bill has three objectives, which are to establish an offshore-wind revenue-sharing model, to dedicate funding to the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund, and to reform the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).
Through the offshore-wind revenue-sharing model, states would receive 50% of the revenue generated by wind farms off their coasts. The 50% would be shared by states adjacent to wind farms, based on a formula that would account for their distance from the facilities. The Act would require that states use this money for coastal restoration, hurricane protection or infrastructure; offsetting damage to fish, wildlife or other natural resources caused by offshore wind-energy development; and creating and enacting marine-, coastal- or conservation-management plans.
The existing National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund provides grants to coastal and Great Lakes communities to respond to coastal erosion and sea-level rise, restore coastal habitat, and make improvements to coastal infrastructure, but does not have a dedicated source of funding. The RISEE Act would direct 37.5% of offshore-wind revenues and 12.5% of GOMESA revenues to the fund.
The RISEE Act would also allow for more equitable resource sharing between the states and federal conservation programs through GOMESA. It would eliminate the state revenue sharing cap, which is currently at $375m; increase the percentage of GOMESA revenues shared with states from 37.5% to 50%; and make oil and gas leases from 2000 to 2006 eligible for future GOMESA payments to Gulf Coast states and the fund.