Markey’s Posturing on Revenue Sharing

Did you know that the states are responsible for our debt problem, because they have this scam whereby they share revenues with the federal government from oil drilling in federal waters? Well, that’s what our old friend Rep. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) is saying. In a press release today (not on Markey’s website yet), he argues that stopping this practice would recover “$150 billion in the coming decades.”

He castigates those greedy states as welfare queens:

 “This program amounts to an oil-funded entitlement program for only a few states, a kind of oil well welfare that drains our U.S. Treasury and chooses the interests of a few over those of all Americans. Normally, welfare means the largess of the state. But with this oil welfare, it’s the largess going to the states. If House Republicans are serious about cutting the deficit and making up the difference in their floundering proposals, they can start by ending this unfair practice.”

Unfortunately for Markey, the CBO score for the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act that allowed this revenue-sharing found that, by expanding the amount of drilling, it resulted in a $900 million reduction in spending from 2008-2016, not a reduction in revenues.

Moreover, revenue sharing is capped at $500 million a year, meaning that it would take 300 years to claw back $150 billion from those greedy states — and that’s not counting the reduction in drilling that would result from such a short-sighted measure.

Now if Markey were really interested in increasing revenues, he’d be asking for more drilling in federal waters, now.

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