Today The Oil Industry Camps Out At The State Capitol

It’s no secret that the oil and gas industry is the top driver of Louisiana’s economy, and has been for a century. It’s also no secret that oil and gas is getting murdered right now thanks to a worldwide glut in supply, and Louisiana in particular is bearing a terrible cost in jobs and investment for that economic downturn.

Oil and gas is responsible for one out of every six jobs in the state. And oil and gas is in the tank at present. Ergo, Louisiana’s economy is in the tank.

Perhaps our legislators and the people of the state ought to have a reminder of what the industry does for the state. At least that’s what the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and the Grow Louisiana Coalition think, which is why they’ve designated today as Industry Day at the state capitol.

“We urge everyone working in and alongside the industry to stand with us April 5, telling our leaders why the industry is so crucial to the future of our state,” said Grow Louisiana Coalition Executive Director Marc Ehrhardt. “For more than 100 years, the oil and gas industry has been an important economic leader and community partner in Louisiana, and we need to be sure it stays that way.”

Participants include state and federal lawmakers, industry leaders, suppliers, partners, employees, professional associations and industry veterans, as well as members of the next generation of industry workers. These workers, supporters and students understand the vitality of the industry to Louisiana’s economic success and our way of life.

The festivities will get started at noon at the Capitol Park Welcome Center on River Road between the State Capitol and North Street. They’ll go on until 2:00, and a pair of Senate candidates, U.S. Reps. John Fleming and Charles Boustany, will speak. So will Baton Rouge’s congressman, Garret Graves.  Food and drinks will be plentiful.

There’s more. Rep. Steve Scalise is using this week to bring colleagues from U.S. House of Representatives down to Louisiana as part of his annual efforts to educate the ignorant about oil and gas…

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) today announced he will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation on his eighth annual Offshore Energy Tour. On April 7 and April 8, the Members will tour a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, participate in an aerial tour of Louisiana’s coastline, take part in an energy roundtable discussion with local energy industry leaders, and visit Port Fourchon. A press conference recapping their experiences will take place at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 11:15 a.m. CT.

Congressman Scalise will be joined by the following Members of Congress for the 2016 Offshore Energy Tour:

Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Congressman Gene Green (D-Texas), Congressman Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Oh.), Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-Wa.), Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), and Congressman Marc Veasey (D-Texas)

“Experiencing offshore energy production up close is critically important to understanding the positive impact American energy has on our economy and our national security, which is why I am honored to lead this diverse group of my colleagues on our eighth annual Offshore Energy Tour,” Rep. Scalise said. “It is vital that Members of Congress from across the country come to southeast Louisiana to witness how energy is produced safely in the Gulf of Mexico, and how energy production creates good paying jobs and strengthens America’s national security. The tour will also provide each of us with a better understanding of deep-water energy exploration and production, which uses the most advanced technologies and the most rigorous safety standards. Especially in these tough economic times, we want to be sure this vital industry continues to safely operate and continues to provide homegrown American energy to power our economy.

“In addition to touring a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, we will also meet with energy industry leaders to hear about the challenges they are facing, and we will also discuss the importance of oil revenue sharing as our means to finance the restoration of our vanishing coastline. I look forward to hosting these Member of Congress here in southeast Louisiana.”

People, particularly on the Democrat side, tend to look at the oil and gas industry as a “special interest” as it relates to governmental affairs, but it’s a bit discordant to see things that way when one out of every six jobs in the state comes from the oil and gas industry. The momentum at the state capitol and particularly in the governor’s mansion seems to be toward policies hostile to those one in six jobs, which is why perhaps it’s important that oil and gas takes some time to educate people about how crucial it is to the economy of this state.

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