LAGOP: Out of Touch and More Harm Than Good

June 4, 2010

(Baton Rouge, LA) – Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Roger Villere released the following statement ahead of President Obama’s visit to the Gulf Coast on Friday:

“As President Obama plans to travel to the Gulf, both Democrats and Republicans in the region have united in opposition to the President’s drilling moratorium that will kill jobs and devastate an already fragile economy. President Obama has shown over and over that he is out of touch with the people of the region – from his lack of leadership in holding BP accountable for the oil spill to his drilling moratorium – a last minute trip won’t hide the fact that his failed policies will do more harm than good for those in the Gulf.”

LOUSIANA’S ECONOMY DEPENDS HEAVILY ON DRILLING, BAN WILL BE DEVASTING

Obama’s Drilling Moratorium Will Cost Louisiana $330 Million In Lost Wages Per Month. “The idling of the floating drilling rigs, which lease for $250,000 to $500,000 per day, will result in as much as $16.5 million in commerce each day coming to a halt, according to the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. The wages lost by those who work on the idled drilling platforms could reach as high as $330 million per month. Plus, an additional $1 million in commerce will be halted each day because the supply boats that serve those drilling rigs won’t be operating.” (Rebecca Mowbray,” Q&A: Explaining, Exploring The Gulf Drilling Moratorium,” The Times-Picayune, 6/2/10)

Because Oil Industry Accounts For Thousands Of Louisiana Jobs. “The oil industry employs about 58,000 Louisiana residents and has created another 260,000 oil-related jobs, accounting for about 17 percent of all Louisiana jobs. The average annual oil-industry salary is $95,000 – a very good income in Louisiana… Moreover, in 2008, oil and gas made up 6.5 percent of Louisiana’s revenue, more than five times the national average. As a result, Louisiana and offshore drilling have become synonymous.” (Bill Sasser, “Despite BP Oil Spill, Louisiana Still Loves Big Oil,” The Christian Science Monitor, 5/24/10)

A Drilling Moratorium In The Gulf Of Mexico Would Only Exacerbate The Economic Problems Facing Louisiana. “To coastal communities and marine-related industries across southern Louisiana, President Barack Obama’s announcement Thursday that work at 33 deepwater drilling operations would be suspended immediately was like sealing the region’s economic death from the ongoing oil plume gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.” (Rebecca Mowbray, “Offshore Drilling Ban Could Be A Blow To Lousiana Economy,” The Times-Picayune, 5/30/10)

After Losing The Ability To Fish The Gulf, Taking Away The Oil Industry Would Devastate Communities. “’It’s bad enough that we have an oil spill to deal with and the fishermen can’t work. Now they’re going to take away the oil industry, and we’ll have nothing,’ said Chett Chiasson, executive director for the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, which runs Port Fourchon, the launching point for 90 percent of the deepwater activities in the Gulf of Mexico.” (Rebecca Mowbray, “Offshore Drilling Ban Could Be A Blow To Lousiana Economy,” The Times-Picayune, 5/30/10)

THE ENTIRE GULF REGION WILL BE HURT

Obama’s Six-Month Moratorium On Drilling Could Cause The Loss Of 40,000 Jobs This Summer. “President Obama’s recently announced six-month moratorium on drilling operations could lead to the loss of 40,000 U.S. jobs by the end of the summer, according to Lee Hunt, president of the International Association of Drilling Contractors.” (Thomas Catan and Guy Chazan, “Spill Draws Criminal Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/10)

“The First Wave Of Job Losses Is Expected In Less Than Two Weeks When All Deepwater Offshore Drilling Officially Comes To A Halt.” (Thomas Catan and Guy Chazan, “Spill Draws Criminal Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/10)

150,000 Jobs Could Be Lost In The Long Run. “The ban could also mean layoffs in the energy industry, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, according to API. The group said 150,000 jobs are at risk if deep water production is significantly reduced over a period of five years.” (Ben Rooney, “Oil Industry Lashes Out at Drilling Ban,” CNN, 5/29/2010)

Obama’s Drilling Moratorim Will Hurt Oil-Serivce Companies “Already Hurt By The Recession.” “Offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for about one quarter of U.S. oil and gas production. The drilling moratorium threatens new hardships for the hundreds oil-service companies, already hurt by the recession, that supply the steel-tubing, engineering services, drilling crews and marine supply boats critical to offshore exploration.” (Isabel Ordonez and Jason Womack, “Drill Ban Crimps Suppliers Of Energy,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/29/10)

Stopping Drilling Will Hurt The Workers Directly On The Rigs And The Industries That Support Them. “The most immediate pain will be felt by those working on the drilling rigs (each one can employ well over 100 people), and all the companies that supply the oil and gas industry. ‘There will be a lot of idle catering shops and supply boats and helicopters,’ [Raoul] LeBlanc said.” (Jennifer Ludden, “Many Factors Cloud Cost Of Oil-Drilling Moratorium,” NPR, 5/28/10)

The Ban Will Hurt Economic Growth And Job Creation. “”An extended moratorium on safely producing our oil and natural gas resources from the Gulf of Mexico would create a moratorium on economic growth and job creation,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the main U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. The ban, Gerard said, will hurt growth “by undercutting our nation’s access to affordable, reliable, domestic sources of oil and natural gas.” (Ben Rooney, “Oil Industry Lashes Out at Drilling Ban,” CNN, 5/29/2010)

WHICH IS WHY LOUISIANA REPUBLICANS INSIST THE BAN END QUICKLY

Gov. Bobby Jindal: During one of the most challenging economic periods in decades, the last thing we need is to enact public policies that will certainly destroy thousands of existing jobs while preventing the creation of thousands more. (“Gov. Bobby Jindal urges Obama to get deepwater drilling back quickly,” The Times-Picayune, 6/3/10)

Gov. Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana Department of Economic Development estimates that the active drilling suspension alone will result in a loss of 3,000 to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in the next 2-3 weeks and potentially over 10,000 Louisiana jobs within a few months. If the suspension of active drilling activity continues for an extended period, LED estimates that our state risks losing more than 20,000 existing and potential new Louisiana jobs in the next 12-18 months. (“Gov. Bobby Jindal urges Obama to get deepwater drilling back quickly,” The Times-Picayune, 6/3/10)

Sen. David Vitter: Rigs won’t wait idly for six months, they’ll move overseas to places like West Africa or Brazil and take jobs with them. I have called on President Obama to replace his recently announced shutdown of deepwater rigs for immediate rig safety inspections. This moratorium is estimated to kill up to 10,000 Louisiana jobs and possibly 20,000 jobs throughout the course of the year. Our workforce and economy have been significantly impacted from the oil spill, but Obama’s offshore moratorium could threaten potential revenue for Louisiana and be even more devastating.” (“Lift Obama’s deepwater moratorium,” Vitter for Senate, 6/3/10)

Rep. Charles Boustany: “President Obama’s decision to stop drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in both deepwater and shallow water threatens 180,000 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico directly tied to oil, gas and the mining industry and makes the United States even more dependent on foreign nations to satisfy our energy needs. This is a knee-jerk reaction and doesn’t recognize the critical nature of oil and gas to our economy or our security.” (Press Release, “Boustany Opposes MMS Reversal on Shallow Water Drilling,” 6/3/10)

Rep. Steve Scalise: “The shallow-water drilling community plays a fundamental role in Louisiana’s economy, and the recent indefinite moratorium proposed by Secretary Salazar would result in thousands more jobs and billions more dollars being shipped to Middle Eastern countries who don’t like us,” (Jonathan Tilove, “New permits for shallow-water oil wells should be allowed amid deepwater investigation, industry spokesmen say,” The Times-Picayune, 5/20/10)

AND WHY THE LA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ADOPTED A RESOLUTION AGAINST THE MORATORIUM

“The Louisiana House approved a new resolution Thursday urging U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to undo the federal government’s six-month Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium on a 92-0 vote.” (Jordan Blum, “House passes a resolution against moratorium,” Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/4/10)

State Rep. Gordon Dove: “This Is Very Serious”: “Sponsor and state Rep. Gordon Dove said the ban could kill the struggling state’s economy during the ongoing BP oil crisis, regardless of confusion about whether the moratorium extends to shallow water drilling as well. ‘Don’t shut down Louisiana, and that’s what happened,’ said Dove, R-Houma. ‘This is very serious.’ (Jordan Blum, “House passes a resolution against moratorium,” Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/4/10)

State Rep. Ernest Wooton: “Don’t Take It Away Because You Messed Up”: State Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, took the opportunity to rail against the federal government’s alleged failings. ‘It’s hard to behave when we’re being punished with the dumb asses in Washington,’ Wooton said, arguing that proper federal oil rig inspections and regulations could have prevented the disaster. ‘Don’t take it (oil production) away from us because you messed up and you fear it’s going to happen again,’ he said. (Jordan Blum, “House passes a resolution against moratorium,” Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/4/10)

State Rep. Nita Hutter: “This Wipes Us Out All Together”: State Rep. Nita Hutter, R-Chalmette, said the people in southern Louisiana are suffering. ‘(Hurricane) Katrina hurt us temporarily, but this will wipe us out altogether,’ Hutter said of the oil leak. (Jordan Blum, “House passes a resolution against moratorium,” Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/4/10)

AND WHY A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS OPPOSE THE BAN

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Voices Opposition To “Far Too Broad” Moratorium In Letter To Sec. Salazar. “We write this letter in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Department of the Interior’s recently announced moratorium on the issuance of any new offshore drilling permits throughout the United States… we are very concerned that the moratorium is far too broad and unnecessarily covers shallow water drilling activities that have operated without major incident for over 50 years.” (“Cochran, Wicker Say Shallow Water Rig Moratorium Is Too Broad,” WLOX, 5/23/10)

The New Six Month Ban Cuts Any New Drilling At 500 Feet, Which Is Half The Depths Of What Is Defined As Deepwater. “The ban on new permits extends to any operation over 500 feet deep. That’s a more stringent definition of the term “deepwater” than what is used by the industry, according to analysts at research firm Platts. The industry generally defines deepwater as anything over 1,000 feet deep.” (Ben Rooney, “Oil Industry Lashes Out at Drilling Ban,” CNN, 5/29/2010)

Senators Note That Moratorium Will Cost Thousands Of Jobs In The Gulf Coast Region And Will Result In Massive Losses Of Revenue. “There are approximately 57 shallow water rigs currently operating in the Gulf of Mexico. We are advised that if the moratorium is not soon lifted for these shallow water operations, as many as 50 of those rigs within the next six weeks will be unable to work and at least 5,000 jobs from the rigs alone will be lost in the Gulf Coast region… If the moratorium is extended through the end of June, lost revenue from shallow water drilling is estimated at $135 million (The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)).” (“Cochran, Wicker Say Shallow Water Rig Moratorium Is Too Broad,” WLOX, 5/23/10)

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3 Responses to LAGOP: Out of Touch and More Harm Than Good

  1. Guinness
    June 10, 2010 at 9:49 am

    This is a good example why the East and West coasts should not open their waters to oil drilling: once the industry gets a foothold with a working and voting constituency, it's next to impossible to shut it down. Oil washing up on their beaches, closed fisheries, threatened and dying wildlife, an environmental disaster – and they STILL think it's worth it. Like an addiction to crack – the money is too good and they are willing to sacrifice their own crown jewel for it.

    • June 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

      Editor's comment: Whether you want oil to come up or not, it's coming up. We can either do it ourselves closer to our shores, or we can do it farther out in the deep horizons, or somebody else can do it just a little bit further out side U.S. Territory in deeper waters and charge us a more expensive price for that oil.

  2. Guinness
    June 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    "Editor's comment: Whether you want oil to come up or not, it's coming up."

    As I've read it, this article is more about the need to resume drilling for the sake of the local economy and jobs – not because of US oil needs. Regardless of what they are drilling for – oil, natural gas, or apple juice – the urgency to resume drilling is because the economy has become so reliant on it. And the fact the are proceeding without first finding out how the accident occurred and how to prevent it from occuring again and the fact the oil is still gushing – is a bit alarming. But that's what happens when a region becomes too dependent on petro dollars – they'll forfeit nearly everything else to protect those jobs.
    Let other states take notice : Open your waters for drilling, reap the bounty, but be aware what wins out when the time comes to choose between a clean ocean, beaches, a thriving tourist industry etc and petro jobs.

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