Americans Rally For Jobs That Come With Deep Sea Oil Drilling

Rallies in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, and Houston have sent a clear message to President Barack Obama.  Oil and gas industry employees in Texas are ready to get back to work.  Before that can happen, the government has to lift the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

Approximately 130 people attended the rally in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, with simultaneous events across Texas drawing a total of 5,500 residents.  Emcee John Michael gave an address before the audience on behalf of the Rally for Jobs event hosted at the American Bank Center.  The group protested the moratorium with the support of the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The moratorium was put into place following the explosion of the BP oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico, and has brought deepwater drilling in the area to a halt ever since.  The American Petroleum Institute estimates that 46,000 jobs were affected by the decision.  A number of speakers attended the Rally for Jobs, including Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner Judy Hawley; Granado Insurance representative, Art Granado; Charles Barber, local chairman of the API; and executive VP of Kiewit Offshore Services, Myron Rodrigue.

Kiewitt stands to gain a lot if the moratorium is lifted.  The company manufactures the platforms used to setup offshore drilling sites, and they already have three projects pending should drilling resume.  Rodrigue explained that, “if the moratorium continues, these projects go away.”  Investors are simply tired of waiting, and are ready to cut their losses and focus attention to other drilling sites and even other energy sectors.

Special guest speaker John Hofmeister, the former president and CEO of Shell, gave a speech via live video feed out of Houston.  He made a clever analogy, explaining that the airline industry doesn’t shut down when a single pilot makes a critical error and crashes; therefore, the oil and gas industry shouldn’t be held up due to an error made by one company.  “If we don’t drill in 2010, we won’t be able to drill in 2012,” stated Hofmeister.  Putting an end to the moratorium now is critical – the industry cannot afford to miss this window of opportunity now that the damaged BP well has been capped off.  If U.S. oil production remains weakened, we will be forced to import the fuels needed to meet the national energy demand.

The rallies in Texas are meant to kick start an entire series of events.  Rallies are already scheduled to continue throughout September, with groups in Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, and New Mexico.