A Costly Moratorium on Jobs, Economic Activity, Energy Security

The American Energy Alliance on Monday released an analysis of the economic impact on the Obama Administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The findings:

  • Over 8,000 jobs lost in the Gulf Coast region
  • Over 12,000 jobs lost across the country.
  • $700 million in lost wages due to the moratorium.
  • $2.1 billion in economic activity lost in the Gulf Coast region and nearly $2.7 billion lost nationwide.

The analysis, “The Economic Cost of a Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region,” was conducted by Joseph Mason, the Louisiana Bankers Association endowed professor of banking at Louisiana State University. In the release, Mason commented:

The data are clear. The moratorium will cost the Gulf Coast region jobs, money, and economic development. In fact, the moratorium could be more costly, than the oil spill itself. The region is already struggling from devastating losses from Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Gustav, and the nation’s depressed economy. By stifling one of the area’s primary economic engines, the administration is crippling the local economy and risking long term consequences.

Gulf Coast citizens will protest the moratorium on Wednesday in Lafayette, gathering at the Cajundome for the Rally for Economic Survival.

Mason appeared in a Bloomberg interview to discuss his finding, with the video at WashingtonPost.com here. (The Post and Bloomberg launched a new content-comingled business website this week. The Post’s business coverage had suffered after it dropped its weekday business section in March 2009.)

Nola.com, the Times-Picayune’s website, also provides an update on the litigation challenging the Interior Department’s moratorium:

Meanwhile, a lawsuit over the moratorium brought by Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. of Covington continues.

Last week, a suit which represents the interests of shallow water drilling companies, Ensco Offshore Co. v. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar et al, was consolidated into the Hornbeck suit. Shallow water drillers believe that they face a de-facto moratorium because of the ban on deepwater oil exploration.

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