Environment

Federal judge halts Biden pause on new oil and gas leases across the U.S.

BY: - June 16, 2021

A federal judge in Lafayette has ordered the Biden administration to restart regular sales of oil and gas leases, forcing the administration to prematurely abandon a central piece of its climate change agenda.  In a preliminary ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted the request of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 12 […]

RISE St. James founder Sharon Lavigne wins Goldman Environmental Prize

BY: - June 15, 2021

Sharon Lavigne, a retired special needs teacher in St. James Parish and the founder of the faith based environmental justice group RISE St. James has been named the 2021 North American winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for fighting to keep multibillion dollar chemical plants out of her already polluted community in the heart of […]

Amid oil and gas buildout, Louisiana industry pushes for less oversight

BY: - June 15, 2021

When a natural gas pipeline fire in Paradis killed one worker and burned three others in 2017, the Louisiana State Police ordered Phillips 66 to pay a $22,000 fine for failing to immediately report the incident. The fire burned for four days before first responders could put it out. But the company ultimately didn’t pay […]

Louisiana Legislature passed chemical recycling bill, but critics say it may worsen environment

BY: - June 14, 2021

A bill passed by the Louisiana Legislature this session would usher in a new kind of plastic recycling in the state, but environmental advocates warn that the process is unproven at best and could bring more pollution to communities already breathing in toxic emissions. Senate Bill 97 by Sen. Eddie Lambert (R-Gonzales) paves the way […]

Louisiana enacts new orphan oil well law to fetch $200 million in federal money

Lawmakers hope ‘orphan’ well tax exemption will resolve ongoing problem in oil industry

BY: - June 10, 2021

Lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation that would establish a program to help fix “orphan” oil wells by offering a tax exemption on oil produced from abandoned wells that are reworked to produce again. While it may resolve the ongoing problem of leaky unsealed wells across Louisiana, one critic pointed out that the legislation simply gives […]

This session made the 8th consecutive year the Louisiana Legislature heaped praise on Formosa Plastics

BY: - June 10, 2021

For nearly a decade, Louisiana lawmakers have passed annual resolutions encouraging closer economic ties with Taiwan. Dating back to 2014, these resolutions have mentioned Formosa Plastics, the company behind a controversial plan to build a giant plastics manufacturing complex in St. James Parish. This year, Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 by Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Bossier City) […]

Recreational fishers want Louisiana’s biggest commercial fishery to back off nearshore waters

BY: - June 4, 2021

A small silver fish was the topic of a nearly three hour discussion among fishers, environmental advocates and lawmakers at the Louisiana Capitol this week. At issue was House Bill 535, which would not allow menhaden fishing within a quarter mile of Louisiana’s shore. Menhaden, also called pogies, are small bait fish caught in the […]

Resolution initiated by 13-year-old aims to recycle Louisiana’s political campaign signs

BY: - June 1, 2021

When campaigns are over, corrugated plastic signs are often left behind on neutral grounds and in ditches. And there’s another problem: Most city recycling programs don’t accept the signs, which are classified as #5 plastics, the same as yogurt cups and butter tubs. But in 2019 Tre Bishop, the son of Rep. Stuart Bishop, (R-Lafayette) […]

Aerial photo of industrial zones along river in St. James Parish

Group of attorneys general demands review of Formosa facility in ‘Cancer Alley’

BY: - May 24, 2021

A group of attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday demanding a deeper analysis of the climate, wildlife and environmental justice impacts of Formosa Plastics’ proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish. Formosa Plastics’ proposed petrochemical complex would include 10 chemical manufacturing plants and numerous support facilities. The […]

Tax-swap package now left to Louisiana voters

House passes bill that would hide corporate tax break data from the public

BY: - May 24, 2021

House lawmakers on Thursday voted 59-38 for a bill that would change the public records law to allow the state economic development agency to hide certain corporate tax incentive records from the public.  House Bill 456, sponsored by Rep. Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge), proposes to make an exception to Louisiana’s public records law for certain […]

Gov. Edwards speaks on unemployment benefits, legalizing marijuana and election reform

BY: - May 19, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced several coastal restoration projects along Southeast Louisiana Wednesday afternoon, which he said would “make our coastal communities and our land more resilient.” And in a separate radio show later that afternoon, Edwards discussed his opinions on some of the more controversial bills moving through the Louisiana Legislature, including bills addressing […]

Legislature names 4 to Louisiana Ethics Board

Louisiana Legislature may erase ethics charges against groundwater regulators

BY: - May 19, 2021

The Louisiana Legislature is close to approving a bill that would allow employees of industrial companies to sit on the groundwater district commissions that oversee the drinking water those companies use for commercial operations. The legislation would also retroactively void ethics violations five Baton Rouge-area groundwater district commissioners face over conflicts of interest. The Senate […]