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The Joys of Art

Friday, July 21, 2006

Good going Governor!!

We got your back Governor!!!! Louisiana demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!
Find out what it means!!!!

Respect(Ultra Mix)--Aretha Franklin

President Bush your (well-prayed over) post card should be arriving soon as I sent it off today....

Blanco sues federal agency over offshore environmental damage
By DOUG SIMPSON The Associated Press BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -

Gov. Kathleen Blanco sued the federal government on Thursday in an ongoing attempt to increase Louisiana's cut of the federal royalties generated by oil production off the state's coast.The suit seeks to block the federal Mineral Management Service from holding a scheduled Aug. 16 lease sale of 4,000 blocks in the western Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration, accusing the agency of disregarding the environmental damage caused by the drilling. In a written statement, Blanco said the agency plans to hold the sale before getting adequate information about additional damage done to the coast last year by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."This action shows a callous disregard for the serious concerns the state has articulated in letters requesting the lease sale be postponed," Blanco said.MMS, a part of the Department of the Interior, issued a statement saying the agency is "confident that we have conducted sufficient analyses to make an informed decision on proceeding with Lease Sale 200."New Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has said trying to block the lease could endanger Louisiana's economy by making energy companies nervous about doing business in the state.Although the suit does not seek money, it represents Louisiana's latest attempt to get a larger share of the royalties. State officials have argued for years that Louisiana deserves a far bigger cut of the royalties that oil and gas companies pay to the federal government — partly to pay for roads leading to the coast, partly to pay for restoration of the coast.With no power as governor to block the sale, Blanco turned to the courts."The governor has made clear all along, this is her card to play," Sidney Coffee, Blanco's adviser on coastal issues, said of the lawsuit.Louisiana now get less than 2 percent of federal royalties, and the state's congressional delegation has brought the issue up annually on Capitol Hill, trying to increase that percentage.The House is considering a bill to give Louisiana and other Gulf states 50 to 75 percent of the royalties — a level the White House considers too high. A Senate bill offers a more modest revenue sharing program, giving the four oil and gas producing Gulf states 37.5 percent with another 12.5 percent to go into a conservation fund and 50 percent to the U.S. Treasury.The planned lease sale includes 3,787 unleased blocks covering about 20.4 million acres offshore from Texas and in deeper waters off of the coast of Louisiana. MMS said the sale could result in the eventual production of up to 262 million barrels of oil and 1.44 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.


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