The last two weeks have put on display the things we take for granted.
The permitting moratorium, the revocation of the Keystone Pipeline, then the outright leasing ban show that the Biden Administration does not fully grasp the critical, complex role oil and natural gas play in every moment of our day-to-day lives.
Let’s start with the most obvious facet of life these bans jeopardize: energy security. Our attitude in America has been that energy for our homes, cars and businesses is a right and a given. All we have to do is pull up to the pump or turn on the light switch. But the ban means a nearly 50% drop in offshore Gulf of Mexico oil production, and a 68% drop in Gulf production of natural gas.
When America makes less of that product, but still has the same demand for that product, where will we have to go for it? We will have to import oil and natural gas from other nations. That’s why the ban was quickly dubbed an “import-more-oil policy.”
Just under a year ago, another major player in the global energy market decided to turn on the spigot and over supply the market. If Saudi Arabia, or Russia, or Iran set their sights on tanking the American family, they can. All they have to do is decide not to sell to America – or sell at a premium and wring out the ole’ USA pocketbook, just so we can fill our cars up. This is the complicated topic of energy security – and a ban makes us less secure on the global stage.
And let’s not forget that these executive actions have been taken under the guise of protecting the environment. So I’ll remind our president that America has the most stringent environmental standards in the world, and in our state, revenues generated offshore go directly to Louisiana’s coast through the GOMESA (Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act) program. In 2020, funds from offshore royalties came into Louisiana’s coffers to the tune of $155,718,470. Those coastal restoration dollars are now completely at risk. Let’s not forget either that the single most generous industry to coastal resilience and restoration is the oil and gas industry.
Finally, the complex, robust economy from oil and natural gas provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, support for critical community and public services, and the affordable, reliable products we rely on every moment in our day-to-day lives. By 2022, a ban could translate into the loss of nearly 48,000 jobs – in Louisiana alone! It’s clear to see that the loss of our industry means harm to our state’s families.
At the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, I see that real impact every day just talking to my members. One pipe fabrication business recently told me “no new projects, no need for piping products.” Others have cited being immediately forced to do layoffs, and others simply have no demand for their services. We are watching the guillotine being readied for our already greatly battered economy.
I’m asking the Governor to stand up for our state, just as the governor in our Lone Star neighbor just did. Find every way to support our vital industry and stop these executive actions from harming our great state of Louisiana.
Mike Moncla is interim president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.