President's offshore drilling plan has pros, cons say East Texans

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Some people are calling the president's turn around on offshore drilling as a positive step towards eventual energy independence. But, there are others who worry it is too vague and won't have much of an impact.

"We need people working, where we can get back to where we need to be as a country," said Rick May, owner of Well-Pro Services.

for some of the hundreds of companies connected to the oil field industry, the president's announcement for some was long overdue.

"Any of this region right here depends so much on our oil and gas industry," said May. "The more domestic production we can do, the better off we are as a country. It is a trickle down effect and anytime we can increase production, we're going to increase jobs."

New drilling means new platforms, which LeTourneau Industries makes, orders of drill pipe and valves and, most of all, jobs.

"Roustabout crews to do the pipelines build the facilities [and] put drilling rigs to work," said Chris Westmoreland, with KDR Oilfield Supply.

While jobs may be created, in this, many see it as window dressing and something that won't even have an effect on the industry for many many years. Though, the president is opening the Virginia shoreline and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, getting started takes time.

"They need to open up some more storage facilities," said Westmoreland. "I don't think there's any place for the gas to go so if you keep drilling for it and you're already at supply and demand. You have no where for it to go."

For some oilfield workers, though it is not much, but it's something.

"I'm afraid it's going to be too little too late," said May. "We've got to start somewhere and now's the time."

Businesses say oil independence can only be achieved by new drilling off the west coast, particularly Alaska, which is currently banned.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.