Drilling Moratorium to Cost Gulf Coast Thousands of Jobs and $2 Billion in Lost Economic Activity in First Six Months

Jul 19, 2010, 11:00 ET from The American Energy Alliance

NEW ORLEANS, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Louisiana State University Endowed Chair of Banking and nationally-renowned economist Dr. Joseph R. Mason estimates that the first six months of the Obama administration's moratorium on oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico will trigger a loss of more than 8,000 jobs, nearly $500 million in wages, and over $2.1 billion in economic activity in the Gulf region alone.

"The data are clear. The moratorium will cost the Gulf Coast region jobs, money, and economic development. In fact, the moratorium could be more costly, than the oil spill itself," Dr. Mason said. "The region is already struggling from devastating losses from Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Gustav, and the nation's depressed economy. By stifling one of the area's primary economic engines, the administration is crippling the local economy and risking long term consequences."

Dr. Mason's paper, entitled "The Economic Cost of a Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region," also outlined the "spill-over" effect the moratorium would have on the greater national economy. According to the study, the United States will see a net loss of 12,000 jobs in the six months – a number which could grow to 36,000 over the next year. Additionally, Dr. Mason estimates that the U.S. economy will lose about $2.8 billion in economic activity and the federal treasuries will lose about $220 million in lost tax revenue.

"We need to find ways to save U.S. energy jobs, not cut them," president and CEO of the American Energy Alliance Tom Pyle said. "The administration's moratorium will devastate the economies of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama and will cost thousands of people their jobs and harm families nationwide. Now that the oil spill has been capped, it's time to stop the jobs spill. For the good of the families throughout the Gulf region and our nation's energy security, the Obama administration must lift the moratorium and get the Gulf back to work."

The report also warned against the worst case scenario -- a permanent moratorium on all oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico -- which would lead to nationwide economic losses in excess of $95 billion and more than 400,000 jobs.

Dr. Mason's report was sponsored by Save U.S. Energy Jobs – a project of the American Energy Alliance – established to help promote the nation's energy sector. To learn more and get exclusive information on upcoming projects, follow Save U.S. Energy Jobs on Twitter and Facebook.

Founded in May, 2008, The American Energy Alliance ("AEA") is a not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.  AEA is the advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a not-for-profit organization – founded in 1989 – that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.

SOURCE The American Energy Alliance