Mississippi slated for $61.8 million in oil royalties

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mississippi will receive more than $61.8 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program funding over the next two years from offshore oil royalties, U.S. Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran said Monday.

The CIAP allocation is distributed among six coastal states — Alaska, California, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Mississippi will get $20.1 million directly and the three coastal counties will share $10.8 million based on population and the length of their coastline. Jackson and Harrison counties will each get 40 percent of the $10.8 million, while Hancock will receive the remaining 20 percent.

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“Communities in our coastal areas make this energy production possible, taking any risks associated with it,” Lott said. “Making these funds available to areas closest to this activity makes sense. It’s fitting that this funding be available for local use, instead of staying in Washington.”

The money is the first to be distributed under legislation that enabled coastal states that host offshore energy production to obtain a portion of federal oil and gas royalties. The royalties may be used for a variety of initiatives designed to protect the area’s environment or mitigate any adverse impact energy exploration may have in the local community.

“This allocation will allow south Mississippi’s citizens, resources and wildlife to remain vibrant as energy diversification and domestic production grow increasingly integral to our nation’s supply,” Cochran said.ß