A drilling moratorium aimed at big oil is a drilling moratorium aimed at local oil as well. That’s the message being sent by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce in Lafayette, Louisiana as they revive the “Energy Division” from several years of dormancy.

Why now?

According to The Daily Advertiser, “challenges from the moratorium and other anti-industry legislation signaled a need for its return, said Chamber President and CEO Rob Guidry.” In short, they are fighting the federal government. The Chamber was amongst those who organized last week’s 11,000 strong anti-moratorium “Rally for Economic Survival” held at the Cajundome.

The near-complete shut down of Gulf Coast drilling by the Obama administration continues to compound the blows to jobs that towns like Lafayette are already feeling. Some drilling companies aren’t holding their breath for an expedited end to the moratorium and have already recommitted drilling resources to other countries. And with the “small people” sitting on the sidelines, they’re left with a spectacle of disaster.

That is why groups like the Lafayette Chamber’s Energy Division are continuing to crop up.

“With so many local companies involved in the exploration of oil and gas, it just made sense to provide them with a common ground,” said Guidry.

“Volunteers will lobby all levels of government to promote pro-industry legislation and work to defeat measures that negatively impact the industry. Immediate attention will be given to the moratorium on deepwater drilling.” – Jeff Moore, The Daily Advertiser

And they have every reason to be committed to seeing this moratorium come to an end. Heritage Foundation research has shown that the effects of an offshore drilling ban would result in a $5.5 trillion reduction in GDP and a reduction in job growth by more than 1.5 million jobs by 2030. Pair this with the realization that our expenses on imports would raise by more than $730 billion in the same timeframe, creating foreign employment while stifling the domestic market, and a very grim image begins to be formed.

The drilling ban was allegedly put in place to prevent repeat disasters like the Deepwater Horizon Spill, a worthy concern to be sure, but banning all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is not a worthy answer. Other options remain that will not only preserve jobs in Gulf States, but ensure that safety standards on drilling rigs are maintained.

From the smallest oil businesses on the Gulf Coast, to the Governor of Louisiana, to the majority of our nation, the resounding cry is for an end to the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. Will it be heard? Or will the oil-spill simply remain another crisis to be taken advantage of?