By MacAoidh, The Hayride, January 27, 2017
Yes, this is a post about the Bayou Bridge pipeline, and it's the third one in 24 hours here on the site - Loren Scott, the famous LSU economist, had a guest post about it here yesterday and so did Gifford Briggs in his regular column.
All this activity comes because in a little less than two weeks, on Feb. 8, there will be a big meeting in Napoleonville for public comment about the pipeline, and the Usual Suspects are marshaling their resources in an effort to stage the kind of opposition they've been putting on display up in North Dakota, where the Dakota Access Pipeline is being built by the same company proposing Bayou Bridge.
This project involves a $750 million capital investment and it's going to involve 2,500 construction jobs in 11 parishes from Calcasieu to St. James. The pipeline is ultimately supposed to go from Nederland, Texas to St. James, terminating on the west side of the Mississippi River. The leg of that journey from Nederland to Lake Charles is already in service. What's coming, assuming it isn't stopped, is the 163 miles of it east of Lake Charles. When it's complete, Bayou Bridge will be a conduit for oil from Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alberta, Wyoming and other places to the north and west to make it to oil refineries and petrochemical plants along the Mississippi. It won't create a lot of permanent jobs in and of itself - the estimate is a dozen people to monitor the pipeline - but by supplying huge amounts of oil to those refineries on the river it will support and create hundreds, at least, of manufacturing jobs in the most populous part of the state.
But the 2,500 construction jobs along that 163 mile route are like manna from heaven in places where the downturn in the oil and gas business have gutted the local economy. Here are the unemployment rates for November 2016, the latest data we could find, along the proposed pipeline route:
Jefferson Davis: 5.5%
St. Martin: 6.8%
St. James: 6.4%
Louisiana's unemployment rate for November was 6.2 percent, which is significantly above the 4.9 percent nationwide. These are the places pushing the state's rate as high as it is, because all the oil workers there can't find work.
To say this project is badly needed is an understatement.
Read full article here.