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Fracking leading LA, US to reap energy benefits

How do an autocratic Russian ruler, some misinformed European governments, and fear-mongering environmentalists together make life better for Louisianans?

The state ‘s economy got a lift when last year Poland’s state-owned gas company agreed for the next five years to buy liquified natural gas shipped out of Cameron Parish. Tired of having Vladimir Putin use its gas supply to their country as a foreign policy cudgel, last summer the Poles began importing LNG from Louisiana. From its facility Cheniere Energy began exporting to 18 countries last year that could bring into the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

This bonanza comes courtesy of greater domestic gas supply derived from hydraulic fracturing. Most of Poland’s nearby neighbors with gas deposits have outlawed this process that pries open subterranean gas seams, as have two states with ocean-going ports, New York and Maryland, and several counties in California. Removal of these potentially lower-cost suppliers from the marketplace allowed Louisiana to scoop up Poland’s business.


Edwards inaction surely would scuttle reelection

Louisiana’s House of Representatives Republicans seem to have gotten it together, to the point that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards may allow sabotage of the entire special session devoted to revenue issues.

Entering this potential two-week convocation, called as temporary taxes rolling off at the fiscal year’s conclusion would leave a deficit of nearly $1 billion at current spending trends, the GOP knew that Edwards would attempt to use this as an opportunity to increase taxes permanently. With his unwillingness to deviate from this conflation of tax reform and hikes, and with reform parameters ill-defined and incompletely confected into his call that triggered the convening, legislators could do nothing lasting and would have to leave genuine reform for the future.

Last week, at first some Republicans didn’t get it. State Rep. Stephen Dwight offered up his HB 23 that would have enacted a permanent tax increase of a half cent of sales tax. This would admit that government needed permanent expansion, ratifying state-sourced spending that rose at twice the rate of inflation during the first two years of Edwards’ term. Democrats sought to pile on with a pair of bills raising telephone taxes advancing out of committee.


Troubling claims also expose Democrat hypocrisy

Regardless of the merits of the allegations, a sexual harassment complaint against Republican Louisiana Sec. of State Tom Schedler raises questions about his fitness to serve, and on the side exposes the hypocrisy of state Democrats.

Last week, a departmental employee filed suit against Schedler for illegal discrimination, harassment, and reprisals. She alleges a decade-long pattern of behavior, stemming from the time he first became employed in the office, where she had taken a job three years earlier, through his appointment, election, and subsequent reelection to the post to the present. He maintains they once had a consensual sexual relationship, which the woman denies, and admitted he has remained separated from his wife for an extended period of time.

The suit broadly references episodes of Schedler’s reportedly intrusive behavior that occasionally resulted in personnel actions the plaintiff believed retaliatory in nature. While the document gives a few details here and there that in isolation could be interpreted as supporting the woman’s contentions, only a full trial can produce convincing evidence.