The oil patch has been shedding jobs for a couple of years now. Much of that is due to the fall in the price of oil.
How bad have things gotten? Things are so bad that Lafayette has lost more jobs than any other metro area in America. Lafayette has lost at least 9,400 fewer jobs and unemployment is up by 4.46% since 2015 according to 247WallStreet.com. The Houma area is third in the nation with 3,400 jobs lost and unemployment up by 3.74% and Shreveport-Bossier City is fourth in the nation with 4,200 jobs lost and unemployment up by 2.35%.
The culprit in all three areas is job losses in the oil and gas industry. The fall in oil and gas prices have hammered Louisiana drillers hard. Thankfully, oil is beginning to inch back up which is eventually good for the Louisiana economy.
Why won’t Louisiana have the oil recovery that other states are having? Because Governor John Bel Edwards has declared war on Louisiana’s oil industry. He has unleashed hordes of trial lawyers to sue the oil companies over coastal erosion in so-called “legacy lawsuits.” The trial lawyers helped elect Edwards governor and now he’s rewarding them by giving them the chance to turn the oil companies into their own personal cash cow.
Oil companies are now finding themselves responsible for drilling and coastal erosion that may have happened decades ago. The science of oil drilling has changed a lot over the past few decades and drilling is now done in a more environmentally safe manner.
With the uncertain legal environment in Louisiana, oil drillers will look for opportunities elsewhere before drilling in Louisiana. The state loses out on the tax revenue. Local economies lose out and eventually people living in the oil patch and surrounding areas start looking elsewhere to provide a good quality of life for their families.
All of this is because John Bel Edwards wants to reward his political cronies. But to do that, he must destroy the lifeblood of Louisiana’s economy. It tells us that Edwards values his political career over the health of Louisiana’s economy.