Offshore oil and gas drilling in United States territorial waters pumped some $4 million into landlocked Utah last year. The money was earmarked for the National Park Service, which used it to acquire additional land for national parks and other recreational uses.
The $4 million came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since its creation in 1965, the fund has dispensed nearly $8 billion to states and territories through the park service and other federal agencies. It also provides matching grants to states to encourage development and maintenance of state parks and outdoor recreation facilities.Nearly 85 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund's money comes from revenues generated by offshore oil and gas activities on the outer continental shelf. The royalties received through leases are second only to tax collections by the IRS in providing revenue to the federal government.