The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President, Don Briggs said, “We are gearing up for 18,000 (people).”
The purpose of the event is to protest the Obama administration’s efforts to temporarily block deep-water drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.
Briggs said he doubts the rally will have an effect on the Obama administration’s stance on the moratorium, but he hopes that national news coverage will inform people outside of the state about the harsh impact of the drilling ban on the state’s economy.
“A lot of jobs are going to be lost. Not just a few, but thousands,” said Briggs.
Briggs also said that the goal of the rally is to show Americans outside of Louisiana that there are real people that will be negatively effected by the ban. “We are going to put a face on these jobs, put a face on these people,” he reiterated.
Several national news outlets plan to cover the event, including CNN and C-SPAN.
The goal is to present “one unified voice saying, ‘Hey, guys, you’re killing us down here,” said Bruce Conque, vice president of marketing and governmental relations for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
Conque said the high attendance estimates for the rally are based in part on commitments from many local businesses. Show businesses will be closed on the rally day just so that employees can attend and show their support for the cause.
“About one-third of our economy is related to the oil-and-gas industry,” Conque said of Lafayette.
There is also a very real concern that oil rigs will not be returning to the coastline as the oil-and-gas companies are relocating rigs to other areas of the world.
The rally is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature speakers including Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Shell Oil Company president John Hoffmeister, Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. Entertainment will be provided by country music artist Sammy Kershaw before and after the rally. More information is available at the rally’s website: www.rallyforeconomicsurvival.com.