This is a conversation we in South Louisiana need to have, and if it takes a massive lawsuit against scores of oil companies by a tiny, independent levee board in New Orleans to do it, then so be it. The suit brought by Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 companies it accuses of destroying Louisiana’s coast through decades of drilling and dredging — thus depleting the coast’s natural ability to protect us from hurricanes — has a tough slog ahead of it. The suit demands the companies respect a clause that has always been part of state leases for exploration and production: Return the area to the condition in which you found it. Politicians and local and state government, which have long benefitted from the energy industry, have often ignored this little requirement. The SLFPA-E is saying “no more.” Regardless of whether it’s ultimately successful, the suit could nonetheless achieve at least one important goal: Make current and future oil companies operating in Louisiana, under the specter of legal action, take greater care of our most important natural resource — our coast and its wetlands. Drill away, boys, but clean up your damn mess.
Let us now throw the baby out with the bath water. A few weeks ago Louisiana Right to Life, a powerful anti-abortion group that has Baton Rouge’s ear, urged Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to stop paying Planned Parenthood’s two clinics in Louisiana for non-abortion health services. That’s non-abortion health services — contraception, mammograms, prenatal care, etc. These services are used mainly by low-income women who can’t otherwise afford such niceties as basic reproductive health care and family planning. We respect LRF’s right to lobby for its pro-life agenda, but this is too much. And here’s why: According to a new study released by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research organization that promotes access to family planning services — research, by the way, that comports with many earlier studies — taxpayer-supported family planning services saved the federal government $10.5 billion and helped prevent more than 2 million unplanned pregnancies and 760,000 abortions in 2010. Think about that.
Despite the fact that early indicators suggest the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, will achieve its goal and reduce health care costs by providing millions of Americans with much-needed health insurance — millions of young Americans who heretofore were booted from their parents’ plans at 18 are among the newly insured thanks to Obamacare — some in the Grand Old Party just won’t let go. Ignore for a minute the more than three dozen times the U.S. House of Representatives has (symbolically) voted to repeal Obamacare — we’re thinking of you, Rep. Boustany — and consider the latest from Louisiana’s junior senator. David Vitter has joined 11 fellow Republican senators in signing a letter threatening to shut the government down — to stop the Social Security checks, the Medicare reimbursements and payment on the national debt, etc. — if Congress doesn’t vote to defund Obamacare, risking economic ruin for these United States. Even Vitter’s fellow Republicans are calling bullshit on this stupid idea, characterizing it as “terribly dangerous” (Sen. Tom Coburn), “a suicidal political tactic” (Rep. Tom Cole), “terror politics” (Rep. Peter King) and “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of” (Sen. Richard Burr). Well said, gentlemen. Well said.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.