Original Press Release
Federal Officials Told 154,000 High-Paying Louisiana Jobs Depend on Access to OCS Oil and Gas
Press release date: April 8, 2009
State Business Leader Says All Sources Of Energy Are Needed
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, April 8, 2009 - Virginia Sawyer, Vice President of the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI), today told the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior that 154,000 high-paying manufacturing jobs in Louisiana depend on access to oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Sawyer said industry depended on petroleum and natural gas not only as a source of energy but also as a feedstock for a wide variety of petrochemicals. Though Louisiana accounts for 13 percent of the total net exports of the energy-producing states, "almost 77 percent of the natural gas consumed in Louisiana is for industrial consumption," she said.
Testifying on behalf of the LABI and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Sawyer said Louisiana industry was heavily dependent on oil and gas. "Almost 58 percent of petroleum produced in Louisiana is consumed by the state's industrial sector, which employs 154,000 Louisianans who have an average annual wage of $52,000," she said. "This average manufacturing wage is 40 percent higher than Louisiana's statewide average wage."
The potential for generating electricity from alternative energy sources "does not mean that federal policy should focus solely on electricity generation at the expense of carbon-based energy," Sawyer said. "While tens of thousands of jobs may be created by the development of alternative electricity sources, hundreds of thousands of jobs in Louisiana and along the Gulf coast will be negatively affected if OCS oil and gas production is not aggressively continued. Orderly development of energy should be as fuel-neutral as possible."
Sawyer spoke at the second of four regional hearings scheduled in April by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of Interior to accept comments on a draft plan that would open 31 new lease sales on the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Alaska coastlines. The remaining two hearings will be held in Anchorage, Alaska on April 14 and San Francisco on April 16. In addition to the public hearings, the MMS will be accepting written comments on its proposal until September 23, 2009.
NAM members may submit a pre-drafted comment to the MMS by going to the following link: nam.org/contactMMS
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Suite 600 - Washington, DC 20004-1790 - www.nam.org