The right signals from Washington

daily advertiserThe Advertiser | David Welch | April 22, 2017

Recently, there have been press reports that President Trump is considering an executive order that would reverse his predecessor’s ill-advised decision to ban offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production in wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

It’s about time. Here in Louisiana, we understand the benefits that offshore energy can provide, and if the good people of other coastal states decide that they’d like to enjoy those same benefits, the federal government should not stand in the way. According to a 2014 study by Quest Offshore Resources, allowing access in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has the potential to create more than 800,000 new jobs and deliver billions in annual economic impact by 2035.

Of course, we also understand the imperative for the nation’s offshore energy industry to always put safety first. Ultimately, former President Obama based his decision on the faulty premise that the industry cannot operate safely, ignoring safety improvements made by both industry and federal regulators in the seven years since the Deepwater Horizon accident and gulf oil spill.

Read the full letter to the editor here.

David Welch is President and CEO of Stone Energy Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Lafayette. He also serves as the NOIA Chairman.