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Pres. Biden invited to see oil industry impacts firsthand in Lafourche Parish

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 5:08 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson is inviting President Joe Biden to see the impacts of Washington’s oil policies firsthand. He says Biden’s policies are hurting the domestic oil industry and contributing to huge spikes in gas prices.

The heart of the gulf oil industry, based out of Port Fourchon, isn’t pumping quite like it used to.

“There were only four new well permits approved in February 2022 and they’re sitting on seven permits that need to be approved,” Chaisson says.

Chaisson says federal roadblocks need to be lifted, especially following the country’s ban on Russian oil.

“When you look at last year’s lease sales, it took several Attorney Generals from around the country to take them to court to force them to have a lease sale.... and then it’s halted by a federal judge because of the Biden climate policies,” said Chaisson.

Chaisson says those policies have contributed to America becoming a nation that imports more oil than it exports in less than two years. He’s inviting the president to see for himself the impacts in the Louisiana oil patch. Imported oil burns less clean and causes more damage to the environment, Chaisson says.

“We are about 53% less emissions and cleaner drilling than any place in the world. I want him to come down here and see and meet the people in Terrebonne and Lafourche who go offshore in the industry and produce energy for America,” said Chaisson.

Oil industry experts say U.S. banking policies are also making it difficult for oil companies to explore and drill new projects.

“You’ve got the SEC and the government saying ‘don’t invest in oil and gas,’ which adds uncertainty. So the people who might invest say the government isn’t even neutral on this and they say don’t do it,” said Eric Smith, with the Tulane Energy Institute.

Chaisson says restrictive Washington policies designed to ease global warming have also helped bring gas prices to record heights.

“I think we could still be paying $3 at the pump if we could do it better here,” said Chaisson.

Chaisson is calling for the U.S. to restore drilling incentives while at the same time exploring new opportunities for renewable energy, like wind power. He says it doesn’t have to be an “all-or-nothing” approach.

Some energy experts say the pandemic’s impact on the economy has done more to drive up energy prices than presidential policies. So far, Chaisson says he has not received a response from the president.

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