Originally posted here:
In 2010, with one stroke of the pen, the federal government shut down offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico jeopardizing the jobs and livelihoods of our countless energy workers and their families. Today, nearly six years later, the federal government is once again proposing sweeping new offshore regulations that could severely cripple Louisiana’s oil and gas industry. The industry’s technical experts have determined that the new proposed regulations will not improve safety and environmental protection, but will actually significantly cripple the future of offshore oil and gas development and threaten the jobs it creates.
In April 2015, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposed the Well Control Rule, which includes a significant number of overly prescriptive and flawed technical provisions that impose expansive new requirements on offshore oil and gas drilling. Industry experts have determined that the new requirements are marred with technical flaws that would actually increase risk to safety and environmental protection while also increasing costs in a manner that will severely impact Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.
Don’t just take my word for it. According to the international economic firm, Wood Mackenzie, this proposed rule would essentially result in another de-facto moratorium on Gulf oil and gas development, with a decrease in drilling by as much as 55% and an estimated 35,000 jobs put in jeopardy in Louisiana alone over the next 15 years. Reduced drilling and production would result in a significant hit to Louisiana’s coffers of up to $1.1 billion by 2030.
Here in Louisiana, we are not an either/or state. We believe in a balance of the three E’s – Energy, Environment and Economy. That was evidenced in 2006 when the voters of Louisiana overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment dedicating future federal offshore royalties to coastal restoration and hurricane protection. In the Gulf of Mexico, when we drill and produce, the voters have chosen to restore and protect.
Louisiana’s energy workers are proud to go to work each day and produce the energy to fuel America. It’s time for the federal government to get out of the way and let them do what they do best. At a time when low crude oil prices are causing dire pain on Louisiana citizens and our communities, we do not need another one size fits all regulation by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. We need regulation that doesn’t lead to strangulation. We need regulations with a high degree of certainty, predictability, collaboration and common sense so we can continue to safely drill in the Gulf of Mexico while keeping the investments and the jobs in Louisiana rather than forcing them to move to other parts of the world. Our federal government should be working with us and not against us as Louisiana continues to proudly produce American energy. Just as we did in 2010, it’s time we make them listen.