House majority leader talks with Trump about jobs agenda

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Local oil industry analysts say the election of Donald Trump could boost jobs in Louisiana.

Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said he has already begun meetings with the president-elect in an effort to jumpstart the economy.

"I've never had the opportunity to serve in the majority with a Republican president, and I couldn't be more excited," said Scalise after calling  the president-elect Wednesday morning to talk about what lies ahead, now that Republicans will control the White House and Congress.

"Talked to the President-Elect Donald Trump about the things we can do in the first 100 days," said Scalise.

First and foremost, the possible deregulation of an oil and gas industry that some believe was stifled by the outgoing president, especially a drilling moratorium after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

"Sort of drove a stake in the heart of some of the deepwater activity," said Eric Smith with the Tulane Energy Institute.

Congressman Scalise expects a freeze on regulations like the Well Control Act and new bonding requirements for drilling withing the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Some  believe the local economy has suffered because of decisions made by the outgoing president, and that's something they hope will change in the Trump administration.

Oil and gas experts expect a Trump administration to immediately rescind roadblocks to the Keystone pipeline, and new restrictions on seismic oil exploration - moves which they believe will help drilling and refining.

"In the short term it will be the undoing of regulations imposed by the Obama administration," said Smith.

Energy experts say many of those regulations stifled investment in billion dollar offshore drilling projects.
"He's going to have an energy policy that works for Louisiana," said Sen Bill Cassidy, (R-La.)

Local congressmen say Congress is ready to move on new rules to place the oil industry on solid ground. And Scalise expects Vice President-Elect
Mike Pence to be on the front lines of driving the new presidential agenda.

"Not only did I sit down with Trump, but I served with Mike Pence [in Congress] for many years," said Scalise.

And Scalise hopes that with the new administration, business and industry get new rules that will provide new jobs for years to come.

Congressman Scalise believes new drilling will help drive new money to the state's coastal restoration effort. He says in the long run, that will be good for Louisiana, though some environmentalists believe otherwise.

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