Top scientists’ claims that their opinions were misrepresented to justify a government imposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling has led to a federal investigation of the moratorium itself. The U.S. Interior Department’s inspector general is conducting a probe into how the Obama administration came up with its recommendation for the moratorium, which is crippling the economies of south Louisiana and could soon damage the national economy as well.
Confirmation of the probe came Thursday after House Republicans who sought the investigation released a letter from Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall. The congressmen made the request after seven members of the science panel that reviewed safety concerns related to the moratorium objected to their names being used in support of the moratorium when they actually opposed it, saying it goes too far. The Interior Department’s May 27 report, the basis for the moratorium, claimed its recommendations had been “peer-reviewed” by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering. Those experts later came forward to say that was not the case.
A U.S. district court judge struck down the moratorium, but it has effectively shut down deepwater drilling during the appeals process.
U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, who is among those who sought the review, called the news of the investigation bittersweet, according to Friday’s Advocate:
“It’s just bad that we’re losing these jobs,” said Cassidy, who has introduced a bill to repeal the moratorium. “To the degree that we can prevent science from being corrupted to support bad political decisions then we’ve accomplished something.”
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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
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