The former LT Governor did a gusted speaker post in the Advocate yesterday lauding the oil industry. The paper did an editorial today as a followup to the LT Governor, agreeing with him.
The oil and gas industry in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is pressing on to provide for the nation, and the world’s, supply of desperately needed energy. One of the counterproductive decisions from President Joe Biden is a “pause,” which may be longer than that word applies, on lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. It makes no sense because the economy of the nation, and that of the world, is poised for a big recovery after vaccinations blunt some of the harsh impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Broadway song said that money makes the world go round. Our reality, despite the promise of renewable energy sources, is that oil makes the world economy go round.theadvocate.com
This was interesting as even the oil companies were not upset with the pause ans they had a lot of unused leases. The economy is shifting to renewables, yust look at the car and truck industries that are switching to electric cars and better batteries. There are more people working in renewable industry than in oil and the pandemic may mean industry shifts to Zoom meetings rather than have people fly in. Oil is losing uses but not proponents.
And in the Gulf, oil can be produced in a more environmentally responsible fashion: Production offshore is less carbon-intensive because there are more restrictions around flaring and venting gases, and the giant drilling platforms run on natural gas as opposed to diesel generators. One of the most knowledgeable veterans of Gulf drilling is Rick Tallant, of Royal Dutch Shell. He said that in today’s economic recovery, the impact of President Joe Biden’s “pause” in Gulf leasing is not immediate, because of prior leases held by Shell. “We still think that we’ll be here for decades to come,” Tallant said in an interview. “There’s still a lot of running room in the Gulf of Mexico, the margins are very good for our investors and the greenhouse gas intensity is arguably the best in the industry.” Like just about every big energy company, Shell is concerned about the long term and making the foreseeable transition to other sources than oil and gas. But we see this transition as a long-term prospect, indeed, far beyond the length of any “pause” in lease sales this year under the new administration. The transition has vast implications for Louisiana’s economy in particular. Our state is the launching pad for energy for the nation and the world, the last in particular now prominent as exports of liquefied natural gas go to countries across the globe.
Reality stepped in at this point and even the oil executive admitted the pause did not hurt and that, in the long haul, oil will remain. That is true as the switch to electric cars is starting now but gas burning ones will remain on the road for a long time. There will be a need for oil but not in the quantity that is being drilled today. The gulf may be the most ecological place to drill but, again, will we need the number of oil rigs that we have today?
It is a complex web of suppliers and workers. It can be dangerous. We just marked the 11th anniversary of the Macondo well explosion. A lift boat recently capsized off our coast with lives lost. Ultimately, the targeting of offshore oil by the administration can be a serious drag on Louisiana’s economy, as some small businesses pointed out in this newspaper. That is a worry, but far beyond our boundaries the policymakers should worry that energy supply might be crimped just as the world economy gets back on its feet. Louisiana’s energy producers can fuel recovery, if they are allowed to.
The last sentence Is backward unless they mean the wind farms planned for the Gulf. Suppliers will be needed for renewables but with different materials. The President has asked why panels cant be made in Pittsburgh rather than China. So there is a lot to sort out as be begin this transition time.