Landrieu, “We want America focused on its energy coast.” - KLFY News 10

Landrieu, “We want America focused on its energy coast.”

A little over a month after U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., conducted an energy tour of three major ports in Louisiana, the Senate Committee Energy and Natural Resources Chair held her first-ever field meeting in the heart of Acadiana. 

The Lafayette Cajun Dome, once the scene of the 2010 Drilling Moratorium Rally for Economic Survival, was the meeting ground for Landrieu and Louisiana energy and gas companies. The topic of discussion; how to create high-paying energy jobs and boost offshore production by removing costly regulations, speeding up the permitting process and expanding revenue share. 

The Department of Interior began it's 2017-2022 five year off-shore energy lease. With that, comes preparations to achieve energy security for the United States while expanding on the Gulf of Mexico Security Act (GOMESA).

First drafted by Landrieu in 2006, GOMESA opened up 8.3 million offshore acres in the Gulf for drilling that will generate nearly two million additional barrels of oil per day. The next five year plan is aimed at opening up even more areas, allowing for more energy production off of America's coasts, transferring resource dependency from other countries to local coasts. 

"This five year lease is going to transcend this administration into whomever is the next President and the next administration. It's very important that we get it right and we start to advocate opening more access because if the Atlantic and the Pacific become a part of the leasing, then Louisiana benefits because we build the platforms here. We have the technology.," said Chris John, President of Louisiana Mid-continent Oil and Gas Association. 

Landrieu wanted to host the first-ever field meeting in the epicenter of the deepwater industry and collect testimony from executives in the industry to give the country’s politicians a better understanding. 

"Washington doesn't know or even appreciate oil and gas industry and its ramifications. When we talk about creating middle class jobs, no industry does it better than right here," said Landrieu. 

Testimony was heard from government panelists which consisted of Walter Cruickshank, Ph.D., the acting Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and Adam Sieminski, the administrator of the Energy Information Administration. Cruikshank and Sieminski spoke on the federal government's estimates of resources and production. 

A short while later, panelists consisted of Louisiana companies, called for deeper channels and higher investments from the federal government. Kent Satterlee III, the Offshore Manager Regulatory Policy for mega-giant Shell Exploration & Production Company said the United States cannot and should not depend on other countries for its energy needs, especially when most of the world’s population increase will be in countries with significant energy resources. 

"We want America focused on its energy coast, on what we provide for jobs and economic development," agreed Landrieu. The industry creates a significant revenue stream. Offshore operations bring in ten million dollars annually, according to Landrieu, for the federal government. 

Recently, the senator developed a piece of legislation that involved revenue sharing. "A small percentage that will come back to help us build our workforce, save our coast and invest in critical infrastructure," she said. 

Landrieu plans for more meetings in the future around the nation. Other industry panelists included Joe Leimkuhler, vice president for drilling of LLOG Exploration Company, Court B. Ramsay, President & CEO of Aries Marine Corporation, Oneil Malbrough, the Executive Director of CB&I and Chet Chassion, the executive director of Port Fourchon that services 90 percent of the offshore deep water activity,

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