By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – I am just off Spring Break where we spent five days in my beloved south Louisiana; we go to Arnaudville, LA in St. Landry parish five times a year and I really hope to move down there in the next year or two. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sell my house in Shreveport; I’m not the only one who wants out of here.
I find it interesting to note that we paid twenty-cents a gallon more for gasoline coming home than we did going down. I mean, WHAT?!
You hear some talk and a little anxiety about Biden’s environmental agenda in that part of the state where most are conservative; it’s over in New Orleans where you get the Democrats, but in Acadiana, there are a lot of conservative voters.
As the Biden-Harris oil and gas job killing agenda continues to unfold, there is some anxiety and concern over job loss and rising gas prices. Consider this news out of Lafayette:
Louisiana officials say the state’s oil and gas industry is in danger.
This comes after President Joe Biden cancelled a March oil lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 80 million acres of available leases would have been sold this week.
The damage to Louisiana’s oil and gas companies started in January when President Biden signed an executive order banning all new oil and gas leases on public land and waters for 60 days.
“Right now I think we’re still pretty much in the holding pattern. It was a 60-day ban, and he was going through relook at it, the president,” Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Mike Moncla said.
Moncla says their worst fear was that the president would extend that ban past 60 days.
“Since that time, Governor Edwards has sent him a great letter letting him know exactly what that would mean to Louisiana, all of the economic and finances that come from our offshore work,” he said.
He says as the 60-day ban comes closer to its end, President Biden isn’t easing restrictions.
He’s enforcing new ones, cancelling the 80-million-acre Gulf of Mexico oil lease sale that was scheduled for March 17 in New Orleans.
“It would kill our state. It would kill workers,” Moncla added. “It would kill jobs, and it would be a terrible thing.”
Moncla says all they can do now is wait.
We are talking thousands of jobs, y’all:
Leaders in coastal parishes like Lafourche, who would be impacted the most, worry.
“The major sector in Lafourche, 5600 residents who work in exploration, 4100 work in oil service and 4100 and shipbuilding,” said Lafourche parish president Archie Chaisson. He says the oil industry is now producing jobs with an average wage of $82,000 a year, that could be lost if the moratorium remains in place.
This is not good, not good at all.
Reportedly, Governor John Bel Edwards has written a letter to Biden asking him to reconsider cancelling these leases, but honestly, who thinks that is going to do one iota of good? I’m not holding my breath.
We are not in a good place right now, and I have grave concerns for the future of my state if this continues. I thought the Obama years were terrible, but I think this might be a worse ride than that was.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.