Two Economic Engines for Louisiana: Oil and Fisheries

Man holding Louisiana Redfish

(Photo credit/jimpic on Flickr)

On Oct. 23, 2012 NOLA.com published an article saying that two years after the White House lifted it’s deepwater drilling moratorium, the number of drilling permits issued lead experts to believe that soon oil-production will exceed pre-spill levels.

According to The New York Times, The International Energy Agency released a report today claiming that in 2017 the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer.

“We need the oil,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, associate director of the Rice University energy program in a recent New York Times article. “The industry will have to improve and regulators will have to adjust, but the public will have to deal with the risk of drilling in deep waters or get out of their cars.”

The video below was made shortly after the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and discusses the economic impacts the White House moratorium might have on the industry


Source: PBS NewsHour

 

The oil and gas exploration industry supports more than $12 billion in salaries and 320,280 direct and indirect jobs, according “Energy Sector: A Giant Economic Engine for the Louisiana Economy.” The report was commissioned by the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.

Louisiana’s commercial and recreational fishing industries also contribute annually $3.5 billion and over 40,000 jobs to the state’s economy, approximately 21% of the fish harvested by weight in the lower 48 states and the annual economic impact of recreational fishing can amount to between $895 million and $1.2 billion according to data published by the Governor’s office.

Louisiana is home to 40 percent of the United States wetlands, and the lingering oil and chemical dispersant still threaten some 400 species of animals, from shrimp to pelicans to bottle-nosed dolphins.

Images of oil-covered Brown Pelican’s, Louisiana’s state bird, became a visual reminder in the month’s after Deepwater Horizon of the ecological cost of deepwater drilling.

A video from Bloomberg about the oiled birds after the spill

Source: Bloomberg

According to a Guardian article Dean Blanchard’s shrimping business used to account for 11% of the US shrimp supply and in the 50 days after the spill he lost approximately $15 million dollars in sales.

Louisiana faces a difficult balancing act of trying to keep two economic engines running that are at odds with one another and one has the ability to destroy the other.

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