Merle Flowers in The Commercial Appeal – Gulf states’ recovery needs oil, gas jobs

The federal government recently decided, despite strong pleas from the Gulf Coast states, that it is time to “stick it” to our jobs.

The impacts of the offshore drilling moratorium continue to sting, even as the Deepwater Horizon oil has ceased flowing.

Despite the capping of the BP oil disaster, we are still recovering from a recession and need jobs in Mississippi. Unfortunately, the federal government has decided to further hinder our job growth, singling out the oil and gas sector, a large state employer, for massive tax hikes that will reduce the work force and stifle any predicted future growth.

This recent move is a real slap in the face for Mississippi, especially in light of a recent Washington trip I participated in with more than 50 gulf residents, whose jobs have been greatly affected by the oil spill.

The group was diverse, from small business owners to bankers to state representatives to oil rig workers. They all came with one message: Our jobs matter.

Merle Flowers