In Louisiana, a Call for Energy

By April 9, 2009Economy, Energy

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar continued the series of public hearings on developing the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy resources at Tulane yesterday, and representing manufacturers and NAM was Virginia Sawyer of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Almost 77 percent of the natural gas consumed in Louisiana is for industrial production, she testified, noting that the industrial sector employs 154,000 Louisianans in jobs that pay well above the state average. Let’s foster those jobs:

While tens of thousands of jobs may be created by the development of alternative electricity sources, hundreds of thousands of jobs in Louisiana and along the Gulf coast will be negatively affected if OCS oil and gas production is not aggressively continued. Orderly development of energy should be as fuel-neutral as possible.

From the Dow-Jones report of the hearing, held at Tulane University:

HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- Louisiana representatives encouraged U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to authorize more offshore drilling for oil and gas at a regional meeting held in New Orleans Wednesday.

The representatives asked Salazar not to forget the importance of the oil and gas industry in the U.S. economy as a source of jobs and tax dollars.

“Lifting the ban on energy development on the outer continental shelf will create 1.2 million jobs across the country and $2.2 trillion in tax revenue,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, R-La. “These numbers represent more than four stimulus packages combined.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also strenuously warned against tax provisions in the Obama and Congressional budgets that could burden the energy sector and called for expanded development of domestic energy resources. From her testimony:

I come today to urge you to look very hard at the proposed tax increases that would diminish the muscle and power of this industry that has served this country so well for so long.

Excellent, clear statement.

Video of the hearing is available here. Next week, Anchorage and San Francisco.

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