Record Crowd Of Energy Supporters Descend On State Capitol To Show Leaders Importance Of Louisiana's Oil And Natural Gas Industry
BATON ROUGE, La. — More than 700 Louisiana leaders, workers, supporters and students came together on Tuesday, April 24, to show support for the state’s future and most important economic driver at 2018 Oil & Natural Gas Industry Day. The event featured a keynote speech by U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary The Honorable Mark Menezes as well as remarks from Louisiana leaders who emphasized the energy sector’s significant role in Louisiana and the United States.
Under Secretary Mark Menezes spoke on the Trump Administration’s vision for the future of the industry in America and how it fits into a global context. As a Louisiana native, he acknowledged the leading role our state has in building the nation’s energy capacity and gave insight into what policies he believes will foster innovation, growth and prosperity.
“You can see that much of America’s energy production occurs right here in Louisiana and what occurs to the energy policy here in Louisiana affects the nation’s energy policy,” said Menezes. “The answer to our energy challenges is not more regulation, the answer is more innovation.”
Grow Louisiana Coalition Executive Director Marc Ehrhardt said Tuesday’s event demonstrated the widespread, positive economic impact the oil and natural gas industry has on the state, with attendees showing their leaders how vital oil and natural gas is to the way of life of more than 260,000 Louisianians working in and alongside the industry. The oil and natural gas industry provides one out of every six jobs in Louisiana and is the No. 1 private investor in our state.
“We cannot let our leaders take Louisiana’s oil and natural gas industry for granted. To be heard, we must show up. Our state needs leaders who will step up to protect our jobs and our quality of life,” said Grow Louisiana Coalition Executive Director Marc Ehrhardt.
In addition to remarks from the Under Secretary, Industry Day attendees also heard from industry professional Mike Moncla, president of Moncla Companies. Moncla discussed the challenges we face in growing the oil and natural gas industry here in Louisiana and how that has caused a drastic movement of our state’s population and businesses to states that have more appealing economic and legal landscapes.
“I was in a customer’s office in Houston last week who was probably the largest taxpayer in Louisiana. Since these lawsuits have surfaced they have spent billions of dollars in other states. While Louisiana used to represent over 60 percent of their production it is now less than 10 percent,” said Moncla.
Representing St. Charles Parish, Superintendent Felicia Gomez-Walker spoke about how productive things can happen when communities and the industry work together, including high performing public schools, thousands of well-paying jobs and major community investments.
“Industry leaders, parish government and the school system work together supporting each other and knowing that what benefits the school system benefits our entire community,” said Gomez-Walker.
The event, hosted by Grow Louisiana Coalition (GLAC), Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss issues impacting Louisiana’s industry with professionals in the field, along with state lawmakers. New this year, attendees experienced interactive activities such as a virtual reality look at offshore platforms, S.T.E.M education activations and an overview of the Oyster Shell Recycling Program.
Industry leaders and partners who directly supported the event through sponsorships included LMOGA, LOGA, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Consumer Energy Alliance, Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Economic Survival Team, Madere & Sons Towing and Offshore Marine Service Association.
2018 Oil & Natural Gas Industry Day, held at A.Z. Young Park on the Louisiana State Capitol grounds, drew more than 700 supporters from across the state, including Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, New Iberia, Plaquemines, Houma, Thibodaux, Morgan City and New Orleans.