Town Hall Meeting Focuses On Drilling Moratorium Impact

July 13, 2010

Disappointment in President Obama, Salazar a Common Theme

Bill Cassidy is flanked by Scott McKay of and Lawrence Svendson, Operations Manager of Marlin Energy, LLC

An activist audience of about 300 gathered at Boudreaux to listen to Representative Bill Cassidy, Don Briggs of LOGA, Ginger Sawyer of LABI, and others at a town hall meeting hosted by the Tea Party of Louisiana. A physical head count after many in the audience had already left was at 220.

Representative Cassidy stressed the importance of citizen activism role in our society noting that often times what many congressmen see is some lady drenching her head in oil in Washington D.C., while not being able to hear from people who are losing their jobs because of the drilling moratorium. Earlier in the day, Congressman Cassidy had released a statement that summed up the entire night

“What does the Administration have against Louisianans having jobs?”

“This notion of a ‘pause’ is absurd. Our economy is not a DVD player, where the government can just push play or pause on a whim. These rigs won’t pause. They’ll keep drilling, but in Africa or Brazil, with African and Brazilian workers instead of Americans. It could be years before these jobs come back. You can’t pause our economy’s thirst for 20 million gallons of oil a day. The oil has to come from somewhere. If it’s not produced in Louisiana, it will be imported from abroad in tankers, which are statistically more likely to result in spills than rigs.”

“Ultimately, this decision means fewer jobs, less energy security, and a greater likelihood of future spills.”

The theme was consistent with the other expert panelist, as Ginger Sawyer of LABI, Don Briggs of LOGA, and Lawrence Svendson or Marlin Energy stayed on point that this was about jobs, the economy, and the future of Louisiana. The panelist noted that while the Obama administration keeps pushing the drilling moratorium, drilling rigs are losing money and will float those rigs where they are welcome. “West Africa wants those rigs, the message from the United States is that we don’t want them, where do you think they will go?” said Lawrence Svendson. The panel also cited that if we don’t drill here at 5,000 ft, they’ll go to other places and drill at 7,000 feet.

Only Scott McKay, publisher of The Hayride veered away from discussing the economic impact, opting to discuss why he thought President Obama was handling the oil spill so ineptly. “You have to ask, who benefits?” stated McKay, citing that President Obama has given a $2 billion loan to Petrobras and that George Soros is heavily invested in Petrobras. “[Soros] is a real life James Bond villian.”

While the panelist heaped praise on the Tea Party movement, the panelist also agreed that the Tea Party can not just “preach to the choir”, but must engage in conversation with their colleagues and neighbors.

Video footage of the town hall available in the next couple of days.

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