Recently, President Obama announced the decision to halt all Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling for at least six months, a critical decision that could lead to even more hardship for workers and families along the Gulf Coast who have already been hit hardest by the oil spill.
We understand the concerns many have about offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident. This issue, however, is much larger than just the oil industry. Access to affordable energy impacts every sector of our economy, every state in our nation and every American family and business.
Restrictions on offshore energy production could result in thousands of lost jobs, billions of dollars in lost government revenue, and a significant decrease in U.S. energy security:
120,000 lost jobs by 2014;
$120-150 million in lost government royalties; and
$300-500 million overall decline in government revenue in 2011—revenue that funds roads, parks and schools.
In the near term, the administration’s decision means that 33 drilling platforms will be idled, leaving as many as 42,600 persons out of work with $165 million to $330 million in lost wages per month—that’s $1,800 per week, per worker. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal echoed these concerns in a recent letter to the president.
Our industry focus is on continuous safety improvements. We remain committed to providing the energy our nation needs, keeping jobs and revenue at home while enhancing our energy security.
Jack N. Gerard
President & CEO