President Biden’s climate change orders will impact Louisiana’s oil and gas industry

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 7:39 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - People across Louisiana are watching President Joe Biden’s executive orders on climate change, that will have an impact the oil and gas industry in the state.

Louisiana lawmakers in Congress and many others, say the President’s Climate Change executive orders, could eliminate tens of thousands of jobs for Louisiana workers in the oil industry.

While environmental activists are saying now is the time to focus on clean energy jobs right here at home.

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” said Biden at the final presidential debate on October 22.

President Biden keeping that promise he made on the campaign trail, after rolling out his new executive orders to fight climate change.

“It is an existential threat,” he said.

RELATED: Energizing Louisiana’s economy with clean fuels for a healthy future

That means a stop to new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters, like the Gulf of Mexico.

“Putting a hold on new leases, totally disrupts that job creation,” said U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

President Biden is basically trying to integrate climate change into various levels of the federal government. And to not let the government be able to lower the cost of fossil fuel energy production.

Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are considered fossil fuels. Which are compound mixtures made from fossilized plant and animal remains from millions of years ago.

“Unfortunately, you’re going to see an effect on the economy in Louisiana. We actually did a study with our National Trade American Petroleum Institute, studying what a potential ban could look like. And so, putting that out in September of 2020 estimates that Louisiana could lose as many as 48,000 jobs around this space (offshore). So it’s very concerning,” said Tyler Gray, who serves as president and general counsel to Louisiana Mid-Continent’s Oil and Gas Association.

Gray says these new policies directly impact thousands of Louisiana workers who are on those platforms and drilling the wells. And includes people who construct the sites and drive the boats.

“And then you have the induced jobs, and that’s going to be everyone they use that discretionary income with, right? Restaurants, car dealers, any place where someone in the industry spends money, they’re going to see an effect from stuff like this,” said Gray.

“Our coast is fragile, and we know that the kinds of policies and the energy systems we’ve been using are threatening those. And we know that we need to make some serious change,” said Logan Burke, executive director of the Alliance for Affordable Energy.

Environment activists like Logan Burke are praising the move by the Biden administration. Saying to move forward and put our resources towards clean and affordable energy, steps like this must be taken.

“Wind and solar are some of the top jobs for growth. Guess what’s not at the top of that list, oil, and gas. And so, we can no longer depend on one or two pieces of our economy. And we can’t say any longer that that’s the only thing we are going to put our focus on,” said Burke.

And while you won’t see higher gas prices immediately, Gray believes over the coming months, prices at the pump could spike.

“As it gets harder and harder in order to produce oil, but the demand remains constant and potentially increasing, there is a potential likelihood of higher prices, because it is a direct effect of supply and demand,” said Gray.

At that climate change news conference, President Biden said he was not going to ban fracking.

Governor John Bel Edwards talked about Biden’s executive orders at his news conference on Thursday, January 28. “Obviously, we’re concerned about any moratorium like that, that could adversely impact our state, or the energy security of our country. We are talking to different folks in the industry right now, to try and figure out what that impact would be. There are a number of leases that have been stock-piled over time. And so, quite frankly, the one-year moratorium on the leasing, other than some revenue that would come to the state, for example, as a percentage of what that lease revenue would be, that’s going to have an impact on us. But in terms of what happens over the course of the year, if they permit the drilling activities, on leases that have already been obtained, then the impact will not be as great as it otherwise would be. And we’re trying to figure out exactly what all of this means. As you know it all happened in the last couple of days, and we are talking to our partners and I’m looking forward to engaging with the Biden administration to make the case for continued leasing and exploration production in the Gulf.”

U.S. Senator John Kennedy has introduced a bill to reverse Mr. Biden’s executive order, which bans all new oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

01 27 21

I'm not going to bubble wrap this: President Biden’s ban on new oil and gas leases is bad. This is devastating to Louisiana families, and it’s not just going to impact oil and gas jobs.

Posted by Senator John Kennedy on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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