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Date ArticleType
10/5/2017 Member News
Healthy Oil and Gas Industry is Essential to Louisiana | Letter

Healthy oil and gas industry is essential to Louisiana | Letter

This November 2014 file photo shows the Hess Gulfstar oil platform at the Tubular Bells field, which is located about 135 miles southeast of New Orleans in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Photo supplied by Hess Corp.)

This November 2014 file photo shows the Hess Gulfstar oil platform at the Tubular Bells field, which is located about 135 miles southeast of New Orleans in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Photo supplied by Hess Corp.)

As columnist Bob Mann disparages hundreds of thousands of Louisianians building their lives in our oil and natural gas industry, he says California is the future. Based on Mann's assessment, Louisiana is closer to California than we thought. The Tax Foundation says California has the third-largest tax burden on its businesses and citizens in the United States. Louisiana has the 10th-largest tax burden.

Between 2006 and 2016, Department of Natural Resources figures show that oil and natural gas companies paid nearly $14 billion to Louisiana for the opportunity to do business here. This money goes directly to the state. The oil and natural gas industry is the only industry assuming these fees and taxes, which are in addition to the normal business and payroll taxes that every business pays.

The state's energy history and its future relies on Louisiana-based businesses connected to oil and natural gas production and refining. Tens of thousands of businesses -- offshore supply companies, grocery stores, restaurants, environmental safety companies and even florists -- employ hundreds of thousands of Louisiana citizens in every parish of the state.

In Lafourche Parish, eight of the top 10 taxpayers in the parish are related to the oil and natural gas economy. In Orleans Parish, oil and natural gas professionals living in the city earn nearly $375 million each year.

A professional working in exploration and production in Louisiana makes an average salary today of more than $110,000 per year. This is two and a half times the average salary of a Louisiana manufacturing worker.

Mann's harmony in California lies at the intersection of taxes and lawsuits. Right now, Louisiana is ahead there. Our state possesses the worst legal climate in the United States, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. California is fourth from the bottom.

If Mann wants to go west, look at Texas. ExxonMobil is building a petrochemical plant there that will generate $50 billion in six years, along with thousands of new jobs.

The economic development professionals with Louisiana ties that secured this opportunity for Texas, pointed to the fair and predictable business and legal climates there as the difference over Louisiana.

We grow Louisiana when we grow Louisiana's oil and natural gas industry. That's not a myth. It's fact.

Marc Ehrhardt

Executive director

Grow Louisiana Coalition

New Orleans