MOBILE, AL - A measure approved in the U.S. Senate could bring 65 million dollars to Alabama over four years for coastal conservation, public works and other needs.
The money was approved in an amendment Thursday. It's part of the federal revenues from oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
Alabama and up to five other states would split 250 million dollars annually between fiscal 2007 and 2010 for "coastal impact assistance" purposes.
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who co-sponsored the amendment, says each state's share would be based on a formula linked to energy production in the Outer Continental Shelf.
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would receive the bulk of the money, while California and Alaska would be eligible if they allowed expanded offshore drilling.
The legislation appears to be a trimmed-down version of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, which, while considerably more
generous to coastal states, has repeatedly failed to win congressional approval.
The House-passed version of the energy bill has a similar provision.