Louisiana’s current 3rd Congressional District is home to 27,954 direct maritime industrial jobs that support thousands of additional workers both directly and indirectly.
This needs to be remembered today as the House Natural Resources Committee debates a legislative link on Capitol Hill that is directly connected to offshore operations and millions of employment opportunities across the nation.
The American Energy Infrastructure and Jobs Act addresses removal of government roadblocks standing in the way of offshore energy production and expands oil and gas resource recovery both offshore and on land.
The measure would require leasing offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources and clearing the way for development of shale oil and natural gas technology and development.
The AEIJA would also permanently remove many government barriers against oil and gas production and then use revenue from that source for road and bridge construction.
With the modification of using federal revenue from offshore oil and gas production on coastal restoration among Gulf States rather than building highways in land locked locations, we believe the AEIJA has a lot to offer.
Of particular interest are the bill’s conditions of speeding up bureaucratic procedures including the issuing of drilling permits.
The bill would also reduce the size of government by eliminating or consolidating nearly 70 programs that tend to duplicate work.
Private sector involvement would be encouraged for infrastructure development and construction.
States would have more say in their application of federal safety programs and specific legislation would be required for local projects going before Congress without the use of earmarks.
After battling to get oil producers back to work on the outer continental shelf, and listening as the president pushed away the Keystone XL pipeline, it is essential that Congress make a stand to protect American industry and job creation.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, improved federal policy that is not antagonistic to the petroleum industry would create 1.4 million jobs in multiple sectors by 2030.
It has been demonstrated that federal stimulus plans do not work. They simply circulate the same money to different pockets. Building employment based on the addition of government agencies are superficial alternatives that do not generate income for anyone other than the rubber stamp companies.
Manufacturing and production are the elements upon which a strong economy is built. Protecting thousands of local jobs and creating millions more nationally is what Louisiana’s maritime industries have to offer. That’s just a reminder.