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4.11.21

Delay invites scrutiny of BC no-bid contracting

Why the Empire lost its first vote by the Bossier City Council since the body’s new term began cannot be separated from the ongoing issue of the increasing amount of no-bid business it has awarded to Manchac Consulting.

This week, controversy erupted over a seemingly-arcane issue. The Walter O. Bigby Carriageway project, designed to extend the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway to create an unimpeded north-south corridor across almost the entire city, at present requires closure of the Shed Road Union Pacific railroad crossing. Federal law gives railroads the upper hand in determining crossings of its right-of-ways by local roads, whether over or above.

When an agenda item proposed closing this crossing, debate erupted. Having to answer for the decision was Ben Rauschenbach, the Manchac Consulting Group employee in charge of the project. He also has served through a series of short-term contracts as city engineer, a questionable arrangement according to the city charter, for almost a year-and-a-half just after Manchac took over the project. Manchac already holds a contract to run city water and sewerage services.

3.11.21

LA, backing rule of law, gets high court lift

Louisiana finds itself part of the breakwater against the assault of the undemocratic managerial state, with signs being successfully so in one instance.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to set a trial for West Virginia et. al., Petitioners v. Environmental Protection Agency, et. al. Louisiana is one of seventeen other states or officials joining West Virginia as a petitioner. The case concerns the authority the EPA has asserted over regulating emissions, with the Court’s decision interestingly enough coming on the eve of the United Nations’ global confabulation of climate alarmists.

To make a long story short, in 2007 the Court ruled that the EPA did have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as part of its legislative grant of power. Trying to do so, the Democrat Pres. Barack Obama Administration set up a heavy-handed regime to attempt that, but the Republican Donald Trump Administration scrapped that and put out its own more constrained version, only to have the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals throw that out on the basis that it construed EPA powers under the Clean Air Act too narrowly. In essence, it said statute permitted other interpretations that could increase EPA power because Congress didn’t exactly specify a particular one, granting the EPA a “no limits” authority.

2.11.21

Media aided, Edwards doubles down on alarmism

As increasingly has become the habit of the political left, when caught out on the facts, just double down on the misinformation and depend upon sympathetic media to cover for you. Thus, we have a recent story in the New Orleans Advocate about Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ junket to Scotland for the United Nations’ gathering of climate alarmists.

Ostensibly, Edwards went to pitch business opportunities related to the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hysteria shared by other participants and hangers-on. He argues that the state could serve as a way station under the imaginary nightmare scenario on which the conference is based for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half within the decade and eliminated on a net basis within three, because of its abundance of hydrocarbon-based yet relatively cleaner energy sources.

But this turns into a wasteful, expensive, and harmful policy agenda because CAGW is a scientifically unsupported fantasy, one to which Edwards clearly is captive. Says he, “There is no state more adversely affected by climate change than Louisiana in the country. And it manifests itself in things like sea level rise, the increasing frequency and severity of weather events like Laura, Delta, Ida. The two strongest hurricanes ever recorded happened in back-to-back years.”

1.11.21

LA must discourage viewpoint discrimination

Louisiana should extend its leadership in prohibiting viewpoint discrimination by addressing cancerous inroads regarding climate alarmism, among other things.

A few years ago, the State Bond Commission began to refuse letting business to financiers that discriminated against entities engaged in constitutionally-protected business, specifically concerning the Second Amendment, a policy it recently reaffirmed. While other states have encapsulated this into law, Louisiana hasn’t but should and extend this into a general protection against viewpoint discrimination.

An instance of this rising intolerance from the woke business world comes from efforts of banks to refuse to serve customers whose business they deem insufficiently climate alarmist. Some, including some of the country’s largest, have made pledges to lend only in ways consistent with the ideology of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, such as not to finance Arctic drilling by energy companies, and potentially could extend this in even more suppressive ways. For example, a lender could decide not to let a business borrow to expand its fleet of vehicles unless these didn’t have internal combustion engines.

31.10.21

Parish nixing puts shakedown on life support

The smash-and-grab attempt by environmental leftists and trial lawyers using Louisiana parishes as useful, if not greedy, idiots hit another roadblock as one of the parishes continues its refusal to play along.

The saga started many years ago in the wake of the hurricane disasters of 2005, when the left and its trial lawyer enablers hit upon trying to entice governments into using energy companies as pi├▒atas to achieve their agendas, acting on contingency for these agencies to sue corporations over alleged environmental damage – even though some of the activities involved that supposedly did this were duly authorized under state and federal government auspices, others weren’t even covered, and didn’t in the main cause coastal erosion. After an attempt failed to use newly-established flood protection agencies as vehicles to accomplish this, eventually trial lawyers behind that turned their attention to coastal parishes.

After years of pressure, as it went out the door leaving the state where it was founded Freeport-McMoRan became the first and to date only of over 200 firms sued to buckle, offering a settlement of $100 million to the state and a dozen parishes, only seven of which actively took part in the case. On behalf of the state, Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry intervened, joining  the state’s Department of Natural Resources as another party. Earlier this year, Landry approved the framework.