“Today’s report from the Obama Administration on the job losses caused by their blanket deepwater drilling moratorium downplays the true impact being felt in the Gulf Region,” said Randall Luthi, President of the National Ocean Industries Association. “It will be no comfort to these unemployed workers to read how their plight could be worse had the Department’s earlier estimates of 23,000 rendered jobless been realized.”
The report, released at the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing, reduces the original projections of 23,000 lost jobs resulting from the gulf drilling moratorium to between 8,000 to 12,000, and predicts that most of those will be temporary losses.
“The original estimate of 23,000 job losses was based on the assumption that offshore energy companies would lay off their entire drill-rig related workforces,” said Luthi. “Thankfully, offshore oil and gas companies are good corporate citizens who have retained their skilled employees during this unprecedented time, in hopes that the moratorium is lifted soon, permits are issued and drilling activity resumes. However, this ability to keep these workers without work cannot last much longer.”
Luthi said the report also fails to recognize that many displaced workers were given work assisting with oil spill response and cleanup. Since the flow of oil has been stopped for some weeks now, these temporary jobs will end, and these workers will only be able to resume full-time work when Gulf drilling activity resumes.