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.
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.
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.
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.