St. Charles Herald-Guide

New Gulf leases should help save coast

Our View - September 27, 2012

Itís good news for St. Charles Parish and all of Louisiana that some 38 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico will be auctioned off for oil and gas production in March. It should help keep one of the basic elements of our economy in place.

We have had indications in the past that the Obama administration was trying to cut local mineral production due to environmental concerns. But this will be the second lease sale since the BP oil spill. It appears that it is trying to get back on the track that was derailed by the spill. The damage done by BP obviously was not to an extent that we should deprive our citizens of something that could suddenly change their way of life.

There are indications out there that other sources of energy can be used that may not provide threats to our environment, but they are not developed to the point that they can satisfy our needs. We should, of course, continue to pursue their development into practical replacements for oil and gas.

After all, our petroleum may someday show signs of depletion that could interfere with life as it has been on our planet.

Keeping the Gulf of Mexico as a main supplier of petroleum also should supply more money to save the coast of Louisiana. Royalties for production off the coasts of individual states are scheduled to be increased in the future.

This should add significant financial aid to our state in creating fresh water diversions and restoration of wetlands and barrier islands, which are necessary in such coastal restoration. So thanks to the Obama administration for taking a practical and beneficial view of future production from our Gulf.