Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, introduced a resolution this week that supports American energy production while denouncing coercive efforts to stymy drilling in states like Louisiana.
Abraham's resolution expresses the sense of Congress that "the production of oil and natural gas is essential to the economy and well-being of the United States, and that addressing energy needs requires cooperation instead of coercion."
The resolution specifically denounces lawsuits against oil and gas companies in Louisiana, actions that have stifled growth in an industry that is critical to the overall health of the Louisiana economy. There are currently more than 400 legacy suits and 42 active coastal lawsuits against more than 200 oil and gas companies, according to industry statistics, that have cost the state tens of billions of dollars in economic output.
Louisiana House delegation members Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Congressman Clay Higgins and Congressman Mike Johnson joined Abraham in introducing the legislation.
"I'm proud to have worked alongside President Trump to unleash America's energy-producing potential, and I want to see that potential realized in Louisiana. All policy makers for Louisiana, from the parish level to the state to the federal representation, should know how critical this industry is to the state and work together to see that it can prosper. Passing this resolution should send a clear message to Baton Rouge and elsewhere that America should be the world leader in energy production, and Louisiana should be leading the charge," Abraham said.
"Thanks to President Trump's leadership and our efforts in Congress, America is experiencing an energy renaissance, which has led to economic growth and job creation across the country, and we should all embrace America's energy dominance. In Louisiana, we know that greater energy development also means increased funding for our vital coastal restoration efforts through offshore revenue sharing. I'll continue to fight for strong energy policies that strengthen our energy and national security, lower prices for families and small businesses, and provide critical coastal restoration dollars to Louisiana. We should not do anything to undermine the importance the energy industry has to Louisiana's economy and the great opportunities it creates for our hardworking families," said Republican Whip Steve Scalise.
"The oil and gas industry employs millions of Americans and serves as the backbone of Louisiana's economy. We've worked alongside President Trump at the federal level to promote energy policies that fuel growth and help achieve American energy dominance. The President gets it. However, the success of these policies depends on strong state-level cooperation. While other energy-producing states like Texas are currently booming, the toxic legal climate and high tax burden coming out of Baton Rouge are holding Louisiana back. It's hurting Louisiana's economy and preventing oil and gas jobs from returning to the state. We should seek policies that encourage investment in Louisiana instead of driving business away," Higgins said.
"The oil and gas industry is a critical component not only in Louisiana's economy, but in the broader economic structure of our nation. Those on the Left support job-crushing regulations that will put hardworking people in our state out of business. Members of our delegation, however, continue to fight for free market principles that allow for energy exploration and innovation. I am proud to join my colleagues in making sure the importance of this sector is promoted in Congress," Johnson said.
U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; Rick Crawford, R-Ark.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; and Steve Watkins, R-Kan.; also cosponsored the resolution.