The Grow America’s Infrastructure Now Coalition (GAIN) hosted a webinar this week to discuss Louisiana’s leading role in our nation’s energy security, as well as its future importance to our nation and allies abroad. Panelists included Louisiana Congresswomen Julia Letlow (LA-5), API Gulf Coast Regional Director Gifford Briggs, former Louisiana Representative Charlie Melancon, and President and CEO of the Permitting Institute, Alex Herrgott.
All the panelists expressed that Louisiana has always been an energy leader, empowering all types of energy projects from oil and natural gas to renewables, stressing the industry’s integral investment into public services. In her remarks, Congresswoman Julia Letlow detailed the importance of the oil and gas industry, citing the benefits she has seen in her district, notably the financial contributions to public education. Additionally, Congresswoman Letlow expressed concerns over the record low number of offshore oil leases off the Gulf Coast, which acutely affects Louisianans, as the state could lose over $2.2 million and thousands of jobs.
Alongside the oil and gas industry’s important role in the state’s public investments, Louisiana helps supply our nation and our allies with affordable and dependable energy, fortifying our national security in a time of global uncertainty and conflict. API’s Gifford Briggs discussed the impact of the buildout of LNG in the state, which has only further added Louisiana’s importance in our national and international energy landscape, securing long-term deals and shielding Europe from energy insecurity. Former Congressman and Louisiana Energy Export Partners (LEEP) Spokesperson Charlie Melancon echoed similar sentiments, citing the need for America’s energy future to include a constant flow of production to supply our nation directly, as well as our allies like we have been able to do in the wake of the Ukraine War.
Another major roadblock for new energy projects is the rigorous and inefficient permitting process. The Permitting Institute’s Alex Herrgott reflected on the recent ‘permitting reforms’ in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, as it only addresses two percent of issues needed to streamline the process. Specifically, to Louisiana, Herggott stressed the importance of permitting reform as energy projects in the state from companies like Venture Global and Energy Transfer are extremely capital-intensive and without these new opportunities due to a prolonged permitting process, Louisianans would not be able to harness the benefits.
It’s clear that our nation’s energy future is directly tied to Louisiana’s energy industries. For our nation to remain secure and competitive, Louisiana’s energy industry must be embraced, protected and supported, instead of attacked and demonized by this administration.