[Update: Blogger C.B. Forgotston says he emailed a recommendation to all 144 of our legislators suggesting they use one of their paid days off — apparently senators are paid to work seven days a week but only work three, whereas members of the House work four days but are paid for seven — and clean up the lake. In an email to The IND, Forgotston says he only received three responses, and none were from Lafayette Rep. Stuart Bishop.]
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
|Rep. Stuart Bishop|
According to this article by LaPolitics, Bishop — taking a line straight from the Green Army — has vowed to clean up Capitol Lake, even if that means getting in a boat and doing it himself.
Rather, Bishop’s newfound environmental activism is immediately suspect, and for the most part laughable, considering his open courtship with Big Oil as seen through his stance on the New Orleans levee board lawsuit.
The IND spoke with Bishop back in February to discuss the levee board’s suit against 97 oil and gas companies for tearing up Louisiana coastline and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s promise to have it quashed during the legislative session.
Here’s what Bishop said:
I support the governor 100 percent. We must bring an end to these frivolous lawsuits. This type of lawsuit is driving oil and gas companies out of this state, and this is a huge economic factor for us and we can’t stand for that. In all honesty, if we can handle it legislatively, I think we should because it is frivolous.
Bishop also thinks the oil and gas companies have never violated their permits, despite a stipulation requiring them to restore the land to its original condition — a requirement that has been repeatedly overlooked for close to a century and has proven to be one of the major contributors to Louisiana’s coastal land loss.
It’s hard to say why Bishop is pushing so hard for a cleanup of Capitol Lake, but one safe assumption is that it doesn’t affect any of his campaign donors. One look at his donations from 2013, and the reasoning for his overt resistance to letting the levee board lawsuit play out in the courts is easily understood. Of all Acadiana’s legislative delegates, Stuart topped the list in donations from Big Oil, receiving more than $18,000 in just one year.
Here's a look at what Acadiana's legislative delegates received in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry in 2013:
Rep. Stuart Bishop — $18,260
Rep. Joel Robideaux — $13,000
Rep. Nancy Landry — $9,250
Sen. Page Cortez — $5,250
Sen. Fred Mills Jr. — $4,250
Sen. Elbert Guillory — $4,200
Rep. Jack Montoucet — $3,400
Rep. Taylor Barras — $3,000
Sen. Jonathan Perry — $2,500
Rep. Vincent Pierre — $2,350
Rep. Stephen Ortego — $2,000
Rep. Terry Landry — $1,000