LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana officials say the state’s oil and gas industry is in danger.
This comes after President Joe Biden cancelled a March oil lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 80 million acres of available leases would have been sold this week.
The damage to Louisiana’s oil and gas companies started in January when President Biden signed an executive order banning all new oil and gas leases on public land and waters for 60 days.
“Right now I think we’re still pretty much in the holding pattern. It was a 60-day ban, and he was going through relook at it, the president,” Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Mike Moncla said.
Moncla says their worst fear was that the president would extend that ban past 60 days.
“Since that time, Governor Edwards has sent him a great letter letting him know exactly what that would mean to Louisiana, all of the economic and finances that come from our offshore work,” he said.
He says as the 60-day ban comes closer to its end, President Biden isn’t easing restrictions.
He’s enforcing new ones, cancelling the 80-million-acre Gulf of Mexico oil lease sale that was scheduled for March 17 in New Orleans.
“It would kill our state. It would kill workers,” Moncla added. “It would kill jobs, and it would be a terrible thing.”
Moncla says all they can do now is wait.
“We’re hoping that Governor Edwards’ letter may have talked some sense into the president and that he won’t extend that 60 days,” he told News Ten.
Moncla says the Gulf of Mexico supports 250,000 jobs between Louisaiana, Texas, and Mississippi and 98,000 Louisiana jobs offshore.