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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Three bedroom traditional Broussard house or two bedroom Lafayette townhome
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.