La.’s future is America’s, too

U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry drew laughs from unknowing masses earlier this month when he held up a sign reading “Drilling = Jobs” during President Barack Obama’s Jobs Act speech before a joint Congress.

It was one of those situations where Landry’s silent protest would have been funny, if it were not all too true.

For the past 17 months, since the tragic BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil release in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil and gas industry has come under brutal attack not only by extreme environmentalist groups and parts of the global population that does not realize how much their jobs and lives depend on what is produced and made ready for market in southern Louisiana.

It was the federal government, in particular the Obama Administration, that has been the primary adversary to an industry that provides directly and indirectly more jobs and economic development than any other business on earth.

Drilling moratoriums, rules restrictions, delays with study after study that lead to the need for more studies are ways to intentionally restrict industrial activity.

The BP disaster was an isolated incident where errors were made for the most part have been rectified. Now, it is time to get back to business and stop beating the issue.

Regardless of Obama’s prejudices regarding the petroleum industry the facts of what southern Louisiana offers the nation include being:

  • No. 1 in U.S. oil production
  • No. 1 in natural gas processing capacity
  • No. 2 in petroleum refining capacity
  • Receiving more than 50 percent of all oil entering the United States
  • No. 3 third largest employer as being oil and gas

Louisiana oil and gas means jobs. It means commerce. It means providing the base upon which not only this state, but the nation depends.

States as far away as Maine and Washington depend greatly on what is produced and processed through southern Louisiana and flows into their markets.

It is time for the federal government to stop punishing an entire industry for bad decisions made among a few executive bean counters that ordered their subordinates to cut safety corners simply to save money.

It is time to put southern Louisiana back to work and allow the growth those jobs produce flow across the country to help other Americans get back to work.