LIVE: VIDEO AND POLITICS

Friday, 23 July 2010 14:33
Louisiana Business Leader Says Stop The Deepwater Oil Moratorium Now
Written by 

I will never forget the year 1986. I was general manager of a dynamic Chamber of Commerce in the thriving community of Lafayette, Louisiana. Promoting Lafayette was one of the easiest jobs in the world. Tourists flocked there by the busloads to experience the Cajun culture, and the economy fueled some of the fastest growth in the nation.


But dark clouds started to gather in the mid-1980s and erupted into a fiscal tempest in 1986. The petroleum industry had driven the surge in Lafayette’s economic growth, and in early 1986 oil and gas prices collapsed—crude oil prices went from $34 to $12 per barrel. The effects were immediate and devastating. Unemployment skyrocketed; property values crashed; and a huge outmigration of Louisiana residents began, a trend that lasted well over a decade.


I was one of the many thousands who moved from Lafayette. I was lucky. I only moved 60 miles to Baton Rouge to find employment that would keep my household income whole. The financial beating I took selling my house in Lafayette was mitigated by the financial beating the homeowner in Baton Rouge took selling his house to me. Tens of thousands of others were not so lucky.


The minute I heard the words “six month moratorium” leave President Obama’s lips, my mind went immediately back to the economic miasma of 1986. I realized instantly that if he carried through with that policy, it was going to pummel our economy, eliminate thousands of jobs, and disrupt the lives of many families in the Bayou State. Thus far, that doesn’t seem to bother the President.


On July 21, well over 10,000 individuals who are concerned about the offshore oil moratorium packed the Cajundome in Lafayette—24 years after the earlier economic plague had descended upon that community. Many of them had shared the misery and frustration of that previous oil crash. They knew that their fears of it happening again were real because they had experienced first hand what happens when drilling and exploration stops and the jobs in that industry disappear. It isn’t only drillers, geologists, and roughnecks who are impacted. In 1986 doctors, CPAs, small business owners, veterinarians and other folks not directly employed in the oil industry left Lafayette and other cities in Louisiana for Orlando, Nashville, Atlanta, and other destinations. The crash in oil and gas prices had pushed them away by diminishing their client and customer bases.


The difference between 1986 and today lies in causation. The damage to Louisiana’s economy in the 1980s was brought about by economic factors, specifically the crash in oil and gas prices. The danger today is entirely man-made. It is derived solely from a government edict. If there is a bright spot in the current crisis, it lies in the fact that a government edict is easier to turn around, generally speaking, than worldwide economic factors.


Unfortunately, there is little evidence coming from inside the Obama administration to indicate that they understand the full impact of the economic damage their moratorium is going to inflict on the folks here in Louisiana. Worse yet, if they do understand it, they don’t seem to care about the economic misery that is now working its way onshore from the Gulf.
Perhaps we will be lucky and the harm coming our way from the moratorium won’t be as devastating as the oil price crash of the 1980s. But our fate shouldn’t rest with luck. As the thousands of folks said loud and clear in the Cajundome recently, the moratorium should end now and Louisiana should be spared this unnecessary burden.

by Dan Juneau, President of Louisiana Business And Industry

 

Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More

latter-blum2

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1