Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yeah, the Frickin' Moratorium is Killin' Us — NOT!

The "End Is Near Rally" in Lafayette a week ago was a veritable doom and gloom fest, complete with charts and predictions from economists that the Obama administration's moratorium on deep water drilling means the end of Louisiana, economically speaking.

The moratorium was declared in late May and has been slugged out in the courts since then, but it has been in effect now for two months. The impact of the forced shutdown of 28 deep water drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico should be reverberating through Louisiana's economy by now.

The End should be at our door, kicking and beating to get in.

Well, a funny thing has happened on the road to Armageddon — nothing.

The latest numbers released this week from various sources show that Louisiana's oil and gas industry is doing quite well, thank you, and the overall employment in the state is improving. Hell, even businesses along the coast supposedly headed for extinction are doing pretty well.

Two months into "The End of the World", the drilling rig count in Louisiana this past week is up three from the week before, to 187. That figure can be found here. It is worth noting that the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association was the prime mover behind the "End is Near Rally" in Lafayette. The videos are still on their website and will stay there, I'm quite certain, until after the fall elections, which is what this propaganda campaign is all about.

Then, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (which at the Rally, included gasoline station workers on its list of industries directly affected by the moratorium) on Friday released its latest unemployment claims numbers. Lo and behold, new claims for unemployment in Louisiana fell last week, two months into the moratorium.

Drilling activity up. New unemployment claims down.

If the moratorium is not, in fact, killing Louisiana, what does that say of the claims made by LOGA, Governor Jindal, Scott Angelle, and others at the rally about the dire consequences resulting from this attempt to prevent further destruction of Louisiana's wetlands and the Gulf of Mexico?

The event was orchestrated. The numbers were massaged. The media's attention was grabbed. And people who trusted these people were scared witless.

All in a days work for political operatives seeking to divert attention from the ecological, cultural and economic damage caused by an industry is still trying to hide the true nature of their operations here from the people they've grown accustomed to abusing.

But, the slow train of the truth is catching up to them. The attempt to convince the people of this state that the perpetrators of the crime in the Gulf are somehow the victims is failing. The industry and their front men are being exposed as the charlatans that they are.

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