Scott Angelle’s expected move up the political ranks is bittersweet for the Breaux Bridge native. On one hand, he gets to serve as lieutenant governor until a successor is elected later this fall. On the other, he must temporarily vacate his post as natural resources secretary just after launching an aggressive campaign to create new incentives to encourage oil and natural gas exploration in south Louisiana.
The state Mineral Board is expected to begin discussions soon, but industry leaders are already champing at the bit. Angelle’s proposed package would in part target wells drilled to 15,000 feet or below in the coastal zone, making such wells a much more attractive option for exploration companies to spend their drilling dollars.
Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs says the proposal should draw interest from exploration companies and could give Louisiana an edge. “We have to be competitive with so many states, and we are competing with so many resource plays,” Briggs says.
The draft proposal also includes a provision requiring companies taking advantage of any related incentives to compensate for impacts to coastal wetlands at a rate of 125 percent of the habitat value of the wetlands, rather than the current rate of 100 percent. "Incentives of the kind Secretary Angelle has brought forward would certainly spur development in south Louisiana, where exploration and production have been on the decline,” says Chris John, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. “Renewing interest there would make economic sense for Louisiana.”
Click here to view the entire resolution adopted by the state Mineral Board this month.
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APR 22 If you're a Walking Dead fan, you might want to check out this story on DIG Baton Rouge about the program's tour, headed for Baton Rouge and NOLA next month. You can be a spectator, a survivor or a walker -- and the walkers get professional make-up. The course is about a mile long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. And if you're wondering (or worrying or maybe hoping, ick) biting is not allowed.
APR 22 The Audubon Nature Institute poured $271K into a failed tax election, and then failed to report any spending until a month after the election, the Picayune reports here. Not only that, but they filed late Thursday -- the day before a holiday weekend -- ostensibly hoping that the news wouldn't get reported or noticed. Nice.
APR 22 The Baptist Standard takes a look back at Joe Aguillard's tumultuous tenure at Louisiana College in this post. Even his hiring was controversial, and his leave-taking -- albeit just to a classroom there -- has been surrounded by argument. In any event, the board of the private Baptist college will now seek a new leader, the story tells us.
APR 22 The NOLA Defender takes a look at our coast four years later in this post. Oil from the BP spill still is washing up on Louisiana's coastline, and this story outlines the Coast Guard's continued involvement.
APR 22 Republicans - and in particular Republicans who might be running for something in a couple years - are flocking to the Common Core issue, the New York Times reports here. But they're not supporting the federal educational curriculum; they're flocking because they feel it will be a good issue to run on, the story tells us. Don't worry, they mentioned Bobby.
APR 22 Here's a story from the Reuters wire about the anniversary of the BP Oil spill. They've got some bitter comments from people who are still waiting to be "fixed," as well as a picture of a Grand Isle beach covered with oil.
APR 22 The Baton Rouge Business Report's Stephanie Riegel writes about a recent study that determined Baton Rouge had the worst sprawl of any American city. Anybody who has spent any time sitting on the Interstate in that city can attest to it, and the reasons are pretty easy to diagnose, so why isn't anybody doing anything about it?
APR 21 Blogger Bob Mann has been keeping track of all the yellow-bellied sapsuckers in the state capitol, and he's got a cringe-worthy list of examples of our leaders demonstrating a lack of intestinal fortitude. They seem to be willing to stand up to no one on our behalf, he says, on subjects including the budget, Big Oil and education.
APR 21 Now that some of the dust has settled on the McAllister affair, columnist Jim Beam takes a look at where we are. There seem to be three groups: those who think he should resign, those who think he should be forgiven, and those who have reserved judgment. The last group is probably the brightest, Beam writes. The first group, which includes the GOP establishment, has a credibility problem, he says.
APR 21 Blogger Lamar White Jr. writes about the state Democratic Party in this post, and offers some advice. People (mostly Republican people) like to say that Louisiana is a Red State, Lamar says, but every major city, except for Lafayette, is led by a Democratic Mayor. So what's going on? Lamar has an interesting theory.
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