WBRZ News

Moratorium report stirs concern, controversy

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Posted: Jul 20, 2010 10:20 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Jul 20, 2010 10:56 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 1.0 (1 vote)

Topics: moratorium, jobs, wages, report, drilling, money, oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, LSU, Joseph Mason

More concern and controversy over the deep-water drilling moratorium. An 18-page paper details the loss of jobs, pay, taxes and even schools. But some say the report is short-sighted.

The dollars that flow into the state of Louisiana's coffers will be gone. The jobs on the coast, including those in classrooms and hospitals, will be gone. And any chance of a quick recovery from this oil spill will be gone. That's what LSU finance professor Dr. Joseph Mason is warning the public in his report about the economic effects of a six-month moratorium.

"These are human lives, human jobs, families and communities behind that policy action and we can't just ignore those," Mason said.

He admits his report does ignore all the "what ifs" in the drilling-halt debate and just looks at the facts within the timeline given.

Mason says the facts are if the moratorium stays in place for six months, the Gulf Coast will lose more than $2 billion in economic activity; the country, almost $3 billion. At least 8,000 workers will lose their jobs, leading to a loss of $500 million in wages and that will leave the Gulf Coast without almost $100 million in tax revenue.

State Treasurer John Kennedy thinks those numbers are hopeful, but impossible.

He said, "As staggering as these numbers are and they are, they're breathtaking, they're probably conservative."

Mason says that's the point.

They say six months, no more effects, the industry rebounds immediately and we move on. "How bad will things be and the point was to say, they'll be pretty bad," he said.

The moratorium is set to expire November 30.

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