Governor Jindal Calls on President to Work Quickly to Ensure Safety and Protect Jobs
“First, we’re calling on the President to ramp up the inspection and regulatory process at the Minerals Management Service so we are not facing this shut down for six months, and especially not 12 to 18 months, as Morgan Stanley investment analysts expect. I am asking all of you to visit gest.la.gov right away to call on the President to speed up the review of these wells quickly so the future of our Louisiana jobs and communities are not in jeopardy. The President will be back on the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday. Let’s make sure our message is heard by the White House loud and clear.
“Second, we need to make sure our workers get compensated. The President says that BP will pay the unemployment claims associated with the moratorium. BP has not committed to that though. But, our people don’t want a claims check or an unemployment check; they want to get back to work. They want to have their jobs so they can count on a paycheck to feed their families.
The Governor noted that eight experts out of the fifteen who advised Secretary Salazar on how to improve the safety of offshore drilling – say they never agreed to the six-month drilling moratorium. Governor Jindal said, “Secretary Salazar claimed they peer reviewed a report on how to implement safety improvements for drilling. But, the eight experts say the moratorium language wasn’t even in the draft they reviewed and they believe the suspension will have a negative impact on the economy. In a statement issued by the group, they said, “A blanket moratorium will have the indirect effect of harming thousands of workers and further impact state and local economies suffering from the spill.”
The Governor also highlighted the negative impact the moratorium will have on Louisiana’s economy. Governor Jindal said, “The President’s six-month suspension of activity on 33 permitted deepwater drilling rigs, including 22 deepwater drilling rigs off Louisiana’s coast is a direct hit to our state’s economy that is already suffering from the BP oil spill and its closure of water areas for fishing and our beaches from tourism.”
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development estimates that the active drilling suspension alone will result in a loss of 3,000 to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in the first two to three weeks and potentially over 10,000 Louisiana jobs within a few months. The state risks losing more than 20,000 existing and potential new jobs over 12 to 18 months, if this federal panel takes longer than six months to do their reviews and write their reports.