Over 200,000 people in the oil and gas industry in Louisiana are at risk of losing their jobs, industry leaders say.
This comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday banning all new oil and gas leases on public land and waters.
“I’m not going to bubble wrap this. This is bad. This is really bad,” Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said.
Senator Kennedy is one of many Louisiana leaders fighting against the executive order President Biden signed Wednesday.
The order suspends any new oil and gas drilling on public land and off-shore waters.
That includes the Gulf of Mexico.
“I can’t imagine anything right now in the middle of a coronavirus when our economy is shut down. I can’t imagine much that would be worse for Louisiana families,” Senator Kennedy added.
Over 90% of Louisiana’s oil and gas comes from the Gulf of Mexico, and President Biden’s executive order could halt all drilling in the gulf, according to the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
“If we get banned offshore, that’s going to be a really big blow to the state,” LOGA Interim President Mike Moncla told News Ten.
Not only will Louisiana lose $95 million in annual revenue, Moncla says this could cost up to 240,000 oil and gas workers their jobs in Louisiana as well.
“One out of every nine Louisianans work in the oil and gas business, so it’s a huge, huge blow to our state,” Moncla added.
“This is not going to just impact oil and gas jobs and families. This is going to hurt petrol chemical. It’s going to hurt our refineries. This is going to cause people to leave our state,” Senator Kennedy said.
Right now, oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico can continue drilling, but once their lease runs out, all production will be forced to come to a halt.
“There aren’t words in English for me to tell you how bad this is going to be for our state,” Senator Kennedy said.
Wednesday Senator Kennedy introduced the Conservation Funding Protection Act, a bill to reverse President Biden’s executive order. If it’s passed, Kennedy says it will take away the president’s power to ban oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.