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President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University, Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tenn.

“I would transition away from the oil industry, yes,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in the closing minutes of the final presidential debate.

“It is a big statement because the oil industry pollutes, significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.” Biden was again responding to President Donald Trump.

Gov. John Bel Edwards needs to declare if he’s supporting Biden: a president who would work to eliminate one of the few remaining industries employing Louisiana’s workforce.

In 2019, oil and gas supported 249,800 jobs in Louisiana and contributed $73 billion to our GDP. 

Democrats in other oil and gas states already distanced themselves from Biden, like U.S. Reps. Kendra Horn in Oklahoma and Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico.

Edwards should explain how he will replace high-paying oil and gas jobs and the $14.5 billion in wages for in-state workers. After all, 75,000 out-migrated from Louisiana during his first term.

People want job opportunities. Edwards takes care of government employees, teachers, giving out free money and benefits while our economy sinks farther behind other Southern states.

Less than 42% of Louisiana’s total population works as of August. If that percentage goes much lower, it will break the backs of the few carrying the tax burden, they’ll leave.

State and local governments will lose $4.5 billion in tax revenues collected each year from oil and gas. That‘s 14.6% of Louisiana’s total state taxes, licenses, and fees.

If those Louisiana impact numbers don’t bother you, consider that oil, natural gas, and coal provide 80% of America’s energy. At the start of 2020, oil and gas were responsible for 12.3 million American jobs.

Between 2012 and 2025, oil and gas are projected to provide $1.6 trillion in federal and state tax revenues supporting schools, hospitals, and public infrastructure across the country.

Implementing Biden’s Clean Energy Revolution will destroy revenues and jobs in Louisiana regardless of whether the 78-year-old achieves any of his 2050 goals.

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, halting hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would eliminate 19 million jobs between now and 2025.

Biden has been cagey, listens to campaign handlers (no public disclosure of their names), staying in his basement for most of the campaign. A highly unusual political strategy but he’s been ahead in the polls as long as no one saw or heard him.

Most of Biden’s support comes from people who don’t like Trump rather than believe in the 47-year political veteran. Few know what he stands for today since the media rarely press him for substance.

Trump looked vibrant, in command of the issues during the last debate. Biden looked old, pale, frail, using “come on” eight times to try and regain his thinking. New debate rules hurt Biden making him look alone, not giving clear, crisp answers and unable to blame Trump’s interruptions for it.

The U.S. is number one in the world for oil and gas production. Betcha Russia, the Middle East, and all oil-producing foreign countries are rooting for Biden to win and “transition” the energy-independent USA from oil.

Biden could easily bring us back to Jimmy Carter's days of energy dependence, threatening economic recovery, increasing energy costs (read inflation), not only eliminating jobs but shifting energy production overseas.

Damage control by Biden’s handlers began as soon as he walked off the debate stage. By the time he reached his private jet, he changed what he said minutes before.

Decide which Biden lies you believe, or if he told the truth after his handlers corrected him. Biden lied about opposing fracking and is recorded saying he wants to eliminate fossil fuels, not just the subsidies.

Biden’s other lies included denials of his racially inflammatory comments during the passage of his ‘94 crime bill, that the U.S. was friends with Hitler before the war, that $15 per hour minimum wage helps small businesses, and first responders make minimum wage.

President Trump won the debate. Joe Biden lost. Don’t take my word for it, you’ll see Nov. 3 or soon thereafter.

Email Garey Forster at Garey.Forster@gmail.com.


Garey Forster is former chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee in the Louisiana House of Representatives and a former Louisiana Secretary of Labor. His column runs weekly. Email him at Garey.Forster@gmail.com.