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La. lawmakers urge President Biden to end pause on offshore oil production

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s only been a short couple of months since President Biden put a pause on offshore oil and gas production and Louisiana is already starting to feel a sting.

That’s why state lawmakers have drafted a resolution asking the president to end the pause.

Some people might have noticed the big spike in gas prices at the pump lately. It’s one of the byproducts from President Biden’s pause on offshore oil and gas production, an industry that Louisiana’s economy has relied on for decades. A federal judge has already blocked Biden’s ban for drilling on public land. Now, lawmakers want to bring the focus to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Louisiana is an oil and gas state. We have depended on oil and gas for many years for our economy,” said state Rep. Troy Romero (R-Jennings).

According to Romero, that’s why state lawmakers have drafted a resolution requesting the president lift the hold on production.

“The president has done a detriment to our state by not allowing that process to continue,” Romero continued.

Romero added the request only received one vote in opposition from Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans). There was a request for comment from her office but no reply was received.

“It was important to everyone, obviously, at the legislature or mostly everybody that we direct our opinion to the president and let him know just how important that industry is,” said Romero.

And the potential revenue isn’t the only reason that has lawmakers up in arms.

“It’s just what that brings in. It’s all of those things on top of that. You know, you’re talking about sales tax, you’re talking about income tax, you’re talking about people that work in that industry that are now having to go to Texas and Oklahoma to find jobs,” explained Romero.

The resolution also outlines the amount of money that Louisiana is required to send to other coastal states to help preserve its land from saltwater erosion, which is something people in the state know all too well.

“And it’s an important part to us because we know that we lose land every day,” noted Romero.

Louisiana’s carbon emissions have also declined by 71% since 1990, according to the Louisiana Emissions Analysis. While the industry says it simultaneously invested $108 billion in greenhouse gas mitigating technologies. The president mentioned climate change as his primary reason for the pause but experts say the oil we’re now having to purchase comes from foreign countries whose regulations on production are not even close to what we have here at home.

Now that the resolution has been sent to the president, the ball is essentially in his court now. Either he will listen to what state lawmakers are asking for or he will continue to hold his current position.

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