On The Way To Washington

by Thomas Clements

This week I will leave my home of Broussard, Louisiana, to fly to Washington D.C. for the Save U.S. Energy Jobs rally at the capitol. Friends and family have asked why I feel the need to travel over 1,000 miles, and the answer is: to make my voice heard and to tell Congress and the White House that my job matters.

It is clear that the politicians in our nation’s capital do not understand the devastation and economic loss being felt in my state, and I intend to bring our message to them. They can turn away from pictures and not read letters, but they will have to listen to me when I am there showing them the desperation there misguided moratorium and other proposed restrictions on energy jobs are causing.

I have worked hard my entire life. I am the proud owner of a small business, Oilfield CNC Machining, based in Lafayette Parish out of Broussard, Louisiana. But since the President started the moratorium, my business has completely stopped. And I know my business is not the only business being destroyed. The entire state of Louisiana has just begun to recover from Katrina and Gustav, and the moment we begin to see light on the horizon, our jobs, economy, and way of life have been turned upside down. Washington doesn’t understand that the moratorium isn’t hurting BP who has billions of dollars and countless clients, it’s killing small businesses like mine.

And now, on the heels of this awful decision, the President is considering a change in tax laws on energy companies. We are the only country to tax our companies on money they make overseas, but thankfully we have credits that level the playing field and allow us to compete against foreign companies. If the President takes these away American companies won’t have a chance, and just like my company, it will lead to higher costs and fewer jobs…I can’t see anything fair or right about that.

If the government needs money, why take it from the pockets of Gulf workers who are already hurting so much? This week in Washington, I plan on getting an answer.

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