Many greenies here in Louisiana when they argue for fighting climate change say that there is a way to protect jobs in the oil industry and saving the environment. But Jonathan Henderson puts that argument to be in an in op-ed for The Lens. Henderson finally admits and even brags that fighting climate change will destroy jobs in Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.
Here’s some of it:
The difference between Louisiana and the poor nations at greatest risk is that we continue to protect the very industry that contributes most heavily to the problem. Indeed, our state’s very survival depends on an absurdity: Congress, in its dubious wisdom, has inextricably tied financing for coastal recovery to continuing fossil fuel extraction, the root cause of our coastline’s accelerating collapse.
The flow of promised coastal-restoration dollars depends on offshore drilling royalties, which means more fossil fuel extraction, more carbon pollution and therefore more rising and warming seas and more powerful hurricanes. Ultimately it means losing even more land than the 2,000 square miles that have washed away in the past hundred years or so.
This short-sighted financing scheme will not save our coastal communities and will make problems worse globally. This is what you call climate injustice and it cannot be, must not be, and is not the solution. It is not fair to the people of Dulac, Morgan City, the United Houma Nation, Ironton, Grand Bayou Village, Isle de Jean Charles, St. Bernard Parish and, yes, even New Orleans.
So, like the thousands of people who took to the streets of Paris carrying giant red banners to symbolize the red lines that they didn’t want negotiators to cross in trying to reach an international climate accord, we too must hold the red line in Louisiana by banning all new leases for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. We must call on the industry that has made trillions of dollars from fossil fuel extraction in the Gulf and in our wetlands to put up the billions it will take to give us a fighting chance to survive here for another generation.
Will workers lose their jobs? In the short run, yes, as they have at every turning point in industrial history. Recent employment patterns teach us that the real cause of lost jobs is the price per barrel of oil and the industry’s disloyalty to its own employees when times get tough. We must prepare to retrain the castoffs, and we should start now. Costs will be high, but the price for our continuing addiction to fossil fuel extraction will be higher still.
Henderson closed with this:
To intone a chant heard repeatedly in Paris, Changeons le systeme pas le climat! Let’s change the system, not the climate!
So Henderson wants to ban all new offshore drilling, impose more fees and taxes on oil companies to fund coastal restoration, and then slams the oil industry for laying people off. Come on, if you know people are going to lose their jobs, embrace it. You can’t have it both ways.
The oil industry and its related industries have proven a good living for many blue-collar Louisianians. To demand that they lose their jobs as a result of ideology is cruel. Surely there are other ways to combat climate change than to ruin the livelihoods of thousands of Louisianians.
If Louisiana is going to play a role in fighting climate change, it will have to be done through consensus and cooperation between all aspects of Louisiana society and business. That includes the oil industry. It certainly will not be done by lecturing us on our evil ways in The Lens.