Sunday, July 25, 2010

Louisiana Is tOast

Last Tuesday, Northrop Grumman Corp., faced with tighter Pentagon spending and Obama administration priorities aimed at Afghanistan and away from the Navy, said it would shut its Avondale shipyard - the state’s largest industrial employer with about 5,000 workers - in early 2013 after two military ships are finished.

Avondale already was the subject of concern, since the program to build amphibious assault vessels will end in 2016, but Northrop decided to build the last two vessels at Pascagoula, Miss.

Another source of misery is the deepwater petroleum drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. The six-month “pause” that the Obama administration insists on could kill the drilling business off the Louisiana coast for years, industry and government officials warn.

Of the 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, two found new long-term homes in Egypt and off the coast of Africa within a week — just as the industry promised would happen.