Louisiana is an energy state. We are America's second-largest crude oil producer. Almost 300,000 jobs in Louisiana are supported by the energy industry.
Unfortunately, Louisiana's economy is not as strong as it could be. Growth has lagged and unemployment is above the national average. Any measure that would strengthen the energy industry would clearly be a big step toward getting Louisiana's economy back on track.
Legislation now being considered in Congress would do just that.
It's not a costly, complicated regulatory scheme that expands government oversight. In fact, it would get rid of unnecessary regulations and let markets work more freely, simply by repealing the 1970s-era ban on U.S. oil exports.
And it wouldn't cost taxpayers a single dime.
Bill New is president of New Industries, a supplier to the offshore oil and gas and marine industries based in Morgan City, and serves as a member of the National Ocean Industries Association's Board of Directors.