The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the following statement ahead of an anticipated vote in the U.S. House on the Great American Outdoors Act, which ensures full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This program relies on offshore oil and natural gas development to supply billions of dollars to support public lands across the country, from Grand Canyon National Park to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
“As this bipartisan legislation moves forward, it’s important for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to remember that, even during these challenging times, our nation’s conservation efforts are made possible by American oil and natural gas,” Vice President of Upstream Policy Lem Smith said. “Domestic energy development, specifically offshore, will continue to serve as the primary revenue driver for the LWCF, underscoring the importance of maintaining safe production in federal waters.”
The Great American Outdoors Act would provide permanent, dedicated funding for LWCF and establish the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund to address an estimated $22 billion maintenance backlog of several federal land management agencies.
Earlier this year, the Department of the Interior announced that $227 million in revenues from the LWCF program, funded from natural gas and oil leasing on federal waters, are being distributed across the country. Revenue for the LWCF program supports water conservation, wildlife habitats, national parks, hiking, hunting and fishing. LWCF investments secure access to public lands, improve recreational opportunities and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities.