Merriam-Webster defines “lame duck” as “one that falls behind in ability or achievement.”

This came to mind after President Barack Obama’s recent proposal was met with a thud on the doorsteps of Congress. His desire to impose a $10 fee on oil and gas companies for every barrel of oil produced would be laughable if the implications weren’t so grim to America’s economic, energy and national security future.

At a time when oil is trading at historic lows, this marks nothing more than an attempt to cripple an already ailing oil and gas industry. This signals his long-standing desire to wipe out the industry — whether through a moratorium, “permitoriam” or other onerous regulations. This same industry that employs nearly 300,000 Louisianans and supports millions of American workers. But none of his actions, to date, have been so direct — or ridiculous.

Obama’s myopic view of the energy sector would hurt Louisiana. I did not think it was possible for the oil and gas industry to struggle any more than they already are, but Obama found a way to do it with this absurd idea. In his effort to shape the world market to his liking, he placed Louisiana families, workers and economic well-being firmly in the cross-hairs. Additionally, he ignored the boost this would give to foreign countries already choking the market with oversupply.

I am grateful for the loud cries of opposition coming from the Louisiana congressional delegation. It is these efforts in education that allows others to see what a dangerous and misguided proposal this really is. The ramifications of this half-baked idea are serious, but thankfully, serious policy makers will identify this as nothing more than Obama pandering to a base that refuses to recognize the importance or necessity of the oil and gas industry.

Chris John

president, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association

Baton Rouge