JACKSON — Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are supporting legislation to expand energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Republican lawmakers have joined as sponsors of a bill that will also provide additional revenue for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas.
The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., would amend a 2006 law to open parts of the Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas exploration.
It would redefine President Barack Obama’s Eastern Gulf of Mexico drilling moratoria to open access to energy resources in areas 50 miles from the Florida coastline.
Cochran and Wicker say the legislation also raises the revenue sharing cap to $700 million annually from the current $500 million, allowing the four coastal states greater say in the use of their offshore drilling revenues.