Biden’s Drilling Ban Threatens 200,000 Louisiana Jobs

Biden’s Drilling Ban Threatens 200,000 Louisiana Jobs

June 10, 2020

Similar to states across the country, Louisiana’s oil and gas industry is struggling. This decline was spurred on by a Russia-Saudi oil price war that increased supply and the Covid-19 pandemic that reduced demand. In total, this currently struggling industry has an impact of about $72.8 billion on Louisiana. Still, despite this contribution and the industry’s current need for support, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans on increasing restrictions. 

According to a new report from the National Ocean Industry Association (NOIA), Louisiana’s oil and natural gas industry could see an even more substantial decline if the federal government restricts new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. The report concludes that Biden’s plan “to limit offshore oil and gas production would not only devastate Gulf Coast economies but would damage the U.S. as a whole.”

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has promoted measures to make the state more appealing to oil companies after Covid-19, as an effort to attract much-needed investment in Louisiana, but federal restrictions would nullify these efforts. NOIA President Erik Milito stated:

While some elected officials and political candidates have promised to stop American energy production, including oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, the reality is that these pledges would do untold harm to America.

The report projects that, if no changes are made to current policies and restrictions, Louisiana will see a $2.5 billion increase in gross domestic product by 2028. Louisiana could also have an average of 105,000 employees working offshore for 2020 to 2040, up from about 99,000 in 2019. As the state navigates its recovery from Covid-19, these jobs and revenue could not be more valuable. But, if restrictions are placed on new leases and drilling projects, Louisiana will lose about $8 billion in GDP contributions and 25% of oil and gas-related jobs.

Particularly right now, as the country is transitioning to a recovery from Covid-19, the federal government needs to prioritize financial stability and growth. Louisiana is only one example of a state that heavily relies on the oil and natural gas industry, and Biden’s restrictions would be implemented across the country – that means the subsequent job and revenue losses would be felt on a national level as well.