As a leader in energy production, Louisiana literally powers the nation and provides almost one-third of the oil and gas consumed in America.
But policies out of the White House are putting our energy workers and America's energy industry at a competitive disadvantage - compounding the historic slump in this critical sector of the economy that has already seen more than 15,000 Louisiana energy jobs lost lost in the last 15 months. Foreign policy decisions that tie American workers' hands and favor energy production and job creation in countries that do not share our values, predatory regulations that deter exploration and production and punitive taxes that put a unilateral premium on American energy in the global marketplace are a threat to our nation's long-term energy security.
We are leveraging every tool we have to stop the Administration's ability to implement the full force of these harmful policies and will keep working to restore our ability to continue safely producing energy in Louisiana and nationwide. Email me today to share your thoughts about federal energy policy.
How Current Federal Energy Policy Hurts Louisiana | An Op-Ed by Garret Graves
George Orwell famously critiqued how politicians use language “to make lies sound truthful” and “to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” The Obama Administration’s claimed support of an “all of the above” energy strategy is as Orwellian as it is disingenuous. In its description of the strategy, the White House cites economic growth, job creation and energy security as pillars of the president’s plan, but the 11,700 energy workers in Louisiana who have lost their job in the last 12 months know that the facts tell a different story. A sample of the Administration’s recent initiatives demonstrates how current federal energy policies compound the historic slump in our energy economy.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) intends to move forward with its proposed well control rule despite repeated efforts by industry, advocacy groups and Members of Congress to initiate a rewriting of the regulation to better incorporate technical expertise associated with offshore energy operations. As I first noted in last quarter’s report, the rule is a response to the 2011 Deepwater Horizon (DH) disaster, but it is largely a solution in search of a problem. The new regulations carries a stated goal of ensuring safe operations in the Gulf of Mexico – an objective I fully support – but the way it was produced ignores the root causes of DH, the track record of safety in the Gulf of Mexico and regulatory advancements since 2010. It is another example of how uninformed bureaucrats attempt to write highly-technical rules and entirely miss the mark on how the real world works. Government and private estimates put compliance between $880 million and $95 billion – a drastic range that underscores the widespread uncertainty about the rule’s implications. The total cost may be open to debate, but a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf and a devastating loss of future energy jobs are certain consequences. Implementing this misguided regulation will bring additional economic hardship and add insult to injury for the thousands of families impacted by the 2011 tragedy.
The White House also undermines our national energy security through its foreign policy. Consider this: Iran holds the world’s largest reserves of natural gas and the fourth largest oil reserve in the world. Because of last year’s agreement between the United States and Iran – which I opposed – Iran is ramping up production and export activities. Iran is already slowly increasing its market share and will become a considerable world trading partner at a time when oversupply continues to suppress prices in the global market. (Recall that the White House adamantly opposed lifting America’s self-imposed ban on crude oil exports before reluctantly capitulating during negotiations of the omnibus spending bill at the end 2015.) Why would our president champion a policy that encourages job growth in a country that doesn’t share American values while pursuing policies that discourage job growth here? I’ve been outspoken about my belief that we should not allow Iran – the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorist organizations – to cash in on this opportunity.
Finally, the president’s budget proposal submitted to Congress earlier this year further exposes intent to discourage the growth of our energy sector. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in new industry taxes and compliance costs, the proposal included a new tax of $10.25 per barrel of oil produced in the U.S. Such a tax would fundamentally increase the cost of domestic production, translate to higher prices at the pump for consumers and erode America’s price competiveness in the global marketplace. No one buys Louisiana’s oil if the president’s tax makes it 30% more expensive than our competitors’.
When the impacts of these policies are in plain view, it’s easy to understand why people are frustrated with government. Energy is critical to our state’s economy and budget, but executive decisions out of Washington kill jobs, exacerbate the state budget crisis and jeopardize our otherwise promising future in exploration, production and exporting. Flawed federal energy policies multiply the economic consequences of depressed energy prices and ultimately translate to higher state taxes for you and me. I’d like the president to explain his “all of the above” energy strategy to the thousands of Louisiana families struggling to make ends meet.
The good news is that much can be done to prevent full implementation of many of these damaging policies – specifically with respect to ill-advised, unilateral regulations. We are vigilant and unified with other leaders in Congress in an unwavering commitment to push the White House to change course. Industry, policymakers and ordinary people must continue to engage and work together to ensure America’s long-term economic and energy security. Visit garretgraves.house.gov/issues/energy to learn more about our efforts on this front.
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Louisiana and several other Gulf states would receive more offshore oil money to help preserve and restore their coasts under a measure headed to the U.S. House.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Garret Graves advanced legislation out of the House Committee on Natural Resources Thursday that would increase the share of offshore energy revenues for Gulf Coast states.
Graves’ bill would provide a substantial increase in funding for Louisiana’s coastal restoration and flood protection projects.
“After working on this for 20 years I can tell you: what happened today is historic,” said Graves, R-South Louisiana. “Moving this bill is a big deal and has enormous implications for South Louisiana.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (R – South Louisiana) advanced legislation out of the House Committee on Natural Resources today that would increase the share of offshore energy revenues for Gulf Coast states. Graves’ bill would provide a substantial increase in funding for Louisiana’s coastal restoration and flood protection projects.
“After working on this for 20 years I can tell you: what happened today is historic,” said Graves. “Moving this bill is a big deal and has enormous implications for South Louisiana.”
A local agency will receive $250,000 in federal money to help build a new water control structure for Bayou Lafourche.
The grant, approved by the Delta Regional Authority, adds to the $2.5 million the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District has allocated for the project to help keep salt from the Gulf of Mexico from advancing north into the area’s drinking water supply.
Bayou Lafourche provides drinking water to about 300,000 residents across Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption and Ascension parishes.
Progress on the elevated highway to Port Fourchon continues as the LA 1 Coalition continues to look for money for the next phase.
Construction is underway to widen the curve on the Leeville Bridge and add a short extension for the planned elevated highway to Golden Meadow, LA 1 Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet told the Lafourche Parish Council last week.
“We’re working very hard on closing the gap,” he said.
The next phase, elevating 8.3 miles of roadway to Golden Meadow, is expected to cost $340 million.
Congressman Graves will join St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom for a press conference to discuss West Shore Lake Pontchartrain hurricane and storm surge risk reduction project updates.
In approving a four-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate did a good thing for the people of Louisiana who depend on the program to sustain homes and businesses in the region. We commend the members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation who worked to secure the extension in both the House and Senate.
Louisiana has secured the federal funds necessary to complete the long-delayed Comite River Diversion Canal, U.S. Rep. Garret Graves says.
Nearly $1.4 billion in funding from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been awarded to Louisiana for flood and hurricane protection projects, Graves’ office announced this afternoon.
The money is coming from five different federal funding streams, Graves says, and will be used for the following projects: