The American Petroleum Institute released the following statement regarding bipartisan passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide permanent, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – as well as funding to address the estimated $22 billion maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Education.
“There is broad support for important programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is almost entirely funded by revenues generated by offshore oil and natural gas production,” Vice President of Upstream Policy Lem Smith said. “These programs underscore the need to continue safe development of domestic offshore energy reserves. Domestic access to federal waters strengthens America’s energy security and supports economic interests while funding important conservation projects. Policies that end or limit production in federal waters would put these essential conservation funds in doubt.”
The LWCF supports the protection of federal public lands and waters. LWCF grants have funded projects in every county in the U.S., counting over 40,000 projects since 1965 with total funding provided of almost $4 billion. Offshore oil and gas revenues fund almost the entire LWCF program, supporting water conservation programs, wildlife habitats, national parks, hiking, hunting, and fishing. LWCF investments secure public access, improve recreational opportunities and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities.
More than $227 million will be distributed from LWCF to all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for specified park and outdoor recreation and conservation. According to the Interior Department, this is an increase of $57 million over 2019’s LWCF distribution.