Category: Energy Politics

Huff Post: Shreveport-Bossier Economy “Fastest Shrinking!”

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by Elliott Stonecipher

   economy-small Online blog and news source The Huffington Post released a study Sunday evening which ranks the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana economy as the “fastest shrinking” in the nation.  In the study’s ranking of “America’s Fastest Growing (and Shrinking) Economies,” also cited is the Lafayette, Louisiana area economy, ranked fourth among the ten areas with nation-worst economic growth.

economic_holeThe Huff Post article details the study’s methodology by noting it is based on the U. S. Conference of Mayors’ recent report produced “in conjunction with forecasting company IHS Global Insight (IHS).”  Further detail in the article notes the study’s use of employment / unemployment data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), along with economic data from the U. S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.  The study “… identified the Read more

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Will Senator Landrieu’s Hypocrisy Matter in Louisiana?

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by Elliott Stonecipher

Breaking Through to PoliticiansWe have no way of knowing what manner of things actually get through to today’s top American politicians.  From our nation’s highest-ranking office holders, we learn more each day about how carefully arranged and scripted and spun and packaged and teleprompted all things are.  Electoral accountability at the ballot box, no matter how devout our commitment to the notion, is thus being systemically compromised.

Thus, we are left to wonder whether or not Louisiana’s senior U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu was, even in the slightest, concerned about Kimberly Strassel’s article about her in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago.  Based on its content and timing, if we apply America’s old political rules, the Senator would be very concerned.  Though I read the article the day it was published, many Louisianans, judging from my remarkable number of related emails, are only now beginning to receive it from friends and others.2014 Political Tug of War-Landrieu

Honestly, I was surprised when I realized the article surprised me – almost nothing of the like does anymore – but the described Landrieu op is certainly stunning, even by today’s lowest-of-low standards.  Ms. Strassel works from data in the public domain,  gathered and analyzed by a new non-profit group, Keep Louisiana Working, and exposes the way Senator Landrieu’s leadership political action committee, JAZZ PAC, funds anti-energy Read more

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1 Year Out, LANDRIEU & CASSIDY Each Hobbled

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by Elliott Stonecipher

Hobbled!
Hobbled!

One year and two days.  That’s how long Louisiana’s Democrat U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu and her main re-election challenger,  Republican U. S. Congressman Bill Cassidy, have until their November 4, 2014, Senate election showdown.  Given the problems besetting each of their campaigns, the two may be forgiven for wanting more than a mere 367 days to work them out.

Senator Landrieu’s Obamacare Nightmare Deepens

In a speech at the end of August, I defined the risks Louisiana’s senior Senator faced in her self-chosen and relished role of Affordable Care Act (ACA) cheerleader for President Obama and the Democrats.  I said,

“Obamacare is going to effect Mary Landrieu negatively if peoples’ premiums go up, notably, or they find out they have to change insurance.  Now, if either of those happens, much less both, that’s a problem.”

(Louisiana Public Broadcasting video of comments to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, August 28, 2013, here.  Referenced quotation at 10:15 to 10:50.)

So, two biggie and badie tripwires of danger threatened Landrieu in this context, and both have already been triggered. As of our nation’s first month into the operational life of the President’s – and the Senator’s – would-be overhaul of America’s healthcare system, the picture for the future is anything but bright for Landrieu.  She needs the ACA-related political firestorm extinguished, and fast.

Dollop of doubt?
Dollop of doubt?

Given events of the week just past, there can be not one dollop of doubt that Ms. Landrieu got her memo explaining how dangerous is the political ground she now treads, 24/7.  As the monumental botch-bollix-bungle of Read more

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A Poker Hand & the World in the Balance

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McCain's poker game
McCain’s poker game

The US Senate hearing was at times heated, yet Senator John McCain passed the time by playing poker on his iPhone during the hearing. One might expect James Bond, 007, to casually play a hand of poker as the world’s fate hung in the balance in a Hollywood adaptation of Ian Fleming’s famous spy.

Yet, the US Senate seems to be a far more casual atmosphere as the use of chemical weapons, once considered an absolute war-starter, have become no more than a poker chip in the stakes that may determine the future of not only the Middle East but the entire planet. McCain, formerly Republican contender to be ruler of the western powers, is now quite hawkish in insisting that Syria has crossed the not-so-imaginary red line in choosing to gas its own people to the tune of 1,400+ confirmed deaths.

Bond considers the play...
Bond considers the play…

Yet the balance of senators and representatives in congress still weigh the Read more

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The 2012 Top 10 Freeways without Futures

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  Loop 49Intro by Bob Forward

Our Note: The concept of continuing to construct corridor-cut interstates thru the center of urban communities has been determined to be wasteful and destructive at many levels. The Interstate 49 “Loop It” coalition has extended their work to help save taxpayers and future citizens from the anguish that has plagued other communities. We highly recommend that pressure be extended on decision-making bodies to kill the concept of cutting through Shreveport to connect to I-49 north. The current loop is by far the favored alternative to all parties, both for short-term cost savings as well as long-term growth of the region.

The Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) published a list of the top opportunities in North America for replacing aging urban expressways with boulevards, Freeways without Futures 2012. President and CEO for CNU, John Norquist, was the former mayor of Milwaukee where he championed the tearing down of an inner city expressway. In our local effort to redirect a new inner city expressway in Shreveport into a business boulevard John wrote an editorial for the Shreveport Times posted on Agile Planning here. Here is an excerpt from the CNU web site describing their Highways to Boulevards Innitiative:

CNU believes replacing urban freeways with surface streets, boulevards and avenues is the most cost-effectiveSave Cheap Loop 49, sustainable option for cities with Read more

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BP Oil Assaulting Beaches More Toxic Than Ever

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Tar Mats from BP revealed by Issac
Tar Mats from BP revealed by Issac

More than three years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s spilled oil is continuing to assault Louisiana’s beaches — and now we have lab tests showing that these giant tar mats are more toxic than ever.

There’ve been some reports out of the region regarding three separate episodes in which these tar mats have come on shore on Isle Grand Terre, an island barrier and critical wetland in the Gulf waters south of New Orleans. In the worst of the three events, officials discovered an oily tar mat that was 165 feet long and 65 feet wide that had come ashore in an island marsh.Elmers-Island-Beach-BP-tarballs

Think about that — a blob of oil half the size of a high school football field! State officials — even Read more

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The Nature of Human Frailty

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Most citizens display surprise when disclosures of theft or misappropriation of public resources are revealed. Responses displayed often are far over-blown as human nature is to want what you don’t have. It’s biblical to covet or desire that which is not yours.

Ethis? Moral? DUH!
Ethis? Moral? DUH!

When we were younger we mastered our desires; we had youthful faith in teachings of spiritual leaders. However, we became more worldly, our experiences expanded and our grasp exceeded the control of our consciences.

Understanding limits of personal rights and failures of control Read more

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BIGGER Dead Zones Predicted for the Gulf of Mexico

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Creating the Dead Zone
Creating the Dead Zone

Coming this summer: “The Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico unless a tropical storm hits the area shortly before or during the annual measurement. By definition a “Dead Zone” is too little oxygen to support fish, shellfish and other aquatic life.

The hypoxic zone in the Gulf is likely to be the largest since annual measurements began in 1985, covering 8,561 square miles – about the size of the state of New Jersey, according to scientists from Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

Low- and no-oxygen areas in the gulf are measured in cubic miles and water volume. The Gulf dead zone affects nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries and threatens the whole gulf economy. Forecasts are based on nutrient runoff and Read more

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The Anatomy of a Political Deal

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by CB Forgotston

Don Briggs, Oil & Gas
Don Briggs, Oil & Gas

Not often does a seasoned lobbyist go public with a political deal, much less one he made with the governor of Louisiana.

However, that is exactly what Don Briggs, who lobbies for the LA Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), did last week on Moon Griffon’s statewide radio show.

Briggs comments remind me of a story about the late Governor Earl K. Long.

Long made a deal with a fellow. When they completed the deal, Long told the man that the name of their deal was: “We have no deal.” Long then him if anyone ever asked the man if he made a deal he should simply say: “We have no deal.” That way he wouldn’t be lying.

Earl Long was one of Louisiana's Best Deal Makers in history
Earl Long was one of Louisiana’s Best Deal Makers in history

C.B. Forgotston

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Public and Wikipedia Cry FOUL!

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BP Attempts to Rewrite History

“History is wRewriting Historyritten by winners,” is the general rule for military history. BP (British Petroleum) seems more than determined to write the history of the “spill” in the Gulf of Mexico in a manner that points favorably to their response and shows less than accurate deference to the details of the actual DISASTER.

So it is determined in the review of facts by Wikipedia and other collectors of facts on the internet. The public response if a simple cry of “FOUL!”

monopoly-go2jailAngry Wikipedia editors estimate that BP has rewritten 44 percent of the page about itself, especially about its environmental performance. A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for April 5 on BP’s request to prevent payments of what the oil company calls “fictitious or inflated claims” in a class action settlement reached with victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (Gulf of Mexico) oil spill.

BP says the claims could cost it billions of dollars.

BP’s emergency request for the hearing is in the civil trial currently under way in Read more

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