OUR VIEW: Elections a reminder of region’s value

Several big money projects are scheduled to take place over the course of the next few years in the bayou region, and many of those projects directly or indirectly go hand in hand with our booming oil and gas industry.

Those projects include road-improvement ones, like the La. 1 elevated highway project which is profiled in this issue as well as the seemingly never-ending flooding and drainage projects to keep our area safe, including the HNC Lock project which is also profiled in this issue.

Both of those projects, and many more coming down the pipe for that matter, not only support this area financially, but in a lot of ways they keep it alive.

How could the oil and gas industry prosper if high-quality roads weren’t available 24/7/365 to access many of the worksites? Likewise, how could it continue thriving if our area continues to erode to the point that working out of the bayou region becomes an impossibility?

The simple and to the point answer is that it can’t.

The good news is that we aren’t alone in the effort to keep in going.

Industry is and has done its part in the form of many financial contributions supporting projects that keep its personal interests alive.

And remember that industry doesn’t just boast our local economy with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, but it also benefits the state and national economy.

Estimates show that there’s going to be 300 to 400 million invested in Port Fourchon over the next three to four years

Revenues from the Gulf of Mexico give the U.S. Treasury Dept. $8 billion on a yearly basis, as does 18 percent of the nation’s energy. Those figures – in no small part – pass through the bayou region.

Bottom line, the state of Louisiana and the United States of America is a more prosperous place because of southeast Louisiana’s industry.

Sure seems to us at The Times that both federal and state governments should continue to ensure that the gravy train keeps rolling in by dumping money into our infrastructure.

We’ve seen quite a bit of it already, so the hope that it will continue certainly isn’t farfetched.

However, compared to the amount of sheer dollars pumped out of this area, a bigger piece of the pie would be nice. And many who call this area home and whose paycheck is signed in this area would say it should be a no brainer.

Our local public officials have always known this and fought for this.

However larger scale public officials and those aspiring to be larger scale public officials are seemingly starting to get it.

All of the major candidates in both our U.S. Senate and House of Representatives races made their way to the bayou region for debates and/or speaking engagements within the weeks (and in some cases, days) leading up to the election.

With a very large portion of the population bases of those races not residing in the bayou area, this area wasn’t necessarily something those candidates needed to focus on leading up to the election from a population standpoint.

However, from an industry standpoint, our representatives to Washington seem to have a strong grasp of the importance of this area – maybe more than ever before.

But showing interest leading up to an election is one thing.

Taking action after is another.

That’s why we implore our elected officials to never quit the fight to save our coast, and therefore, save our industry.

We never had a doubt about our local ones, but they can only do so much.

Taking the fight to Washington is the next battle. And it looks like momentum is growing and growing in our favor.