Outer Continental Shelf Revenue Sharing: A Proposal to End the Seaweed Rebellion

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The outer continental shelf (OCS), which is the undersea land beginning three miles seaward from the United States' coasts, con- tains one of the largest known domestic reserves of oil and gas. The federal government, which exercises sovereign rights over the seabed and subsoil of the OCS, leases OCS lands for oil and gas development. Since 1971, the federal government has sought to accelerate and expand OCS leasing in order to make the U.S. en- ergy-independent, to alleviate balance of payments problems, and to reduce budgetary deficits. This effort has been particularly note- worthy during the Reagan administration, which has increased OCS leasing while seeking to eliminate the funding for vital ocean and coastal programs.



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