“Fracking” in to north Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale has carried natural gas production levels in Louisiana to their highest in more than 25 years, also lowering electricity bills for Louisianans and giving an upper hand to the state’s chemical plants competing with overseas companies.
The Advocate’s Ted Griggs reported Sunday that the roughly 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2010 is 36 percent more than 2009 production and 48 percent more than what the state generated in 2008.
The colossal underground rock brought a “gold rush” mentality to the state when drilling there began, according to the state Department of Natural Resources, and has since cut the price of natural gas in half:
That’s good news for the Louisiana’s chemical plants and their competitive advantage and for residents’ lower electric and natural gas bills. The price even opens the door to exporting liquefied natural gas from Louisiana.
Economist Loren Scott told The Advocate that a key factor in electricity bills is the fuel adjustment charge, which fluctuates depending on natural gas and other fuel prices:
In 2008, the cost for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity — a typical customer’s monthly usage — was $110 to $120, said Bill Mohl, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC.
The bill for the same amount of electricity today is $80 to $90 — with the natural gas prices having fallen closer to $4 per thousand cubic feet.
The latest report of Haynesville’s success comes on the heels of an article outlining a lack of severance tax revenue hitting the state’s coffers from the shale. The Advocate reported Feb. 5 that Haynesville wells are exempted from severance taxes for up to two years, and production at the site is expected to plummet long before companies will begin paying severance taxes. Figures from the state’s Legislative Fiscal Office caused an outcry from oil and gas industry leaders, who countered that the tax exemption was a major component of the influx of companies drilling.
Read more on the Haynesville Shale and the severance tax exemption here and a response from a Lafayette oil and gas manager.
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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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