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Gulf of Mexico to see 41.2 million-acre lease auction

As a part of its five-year offshore drilling plan implemented in 2012, the Interior Department has scheduled an offshore oil and gas lease auction for March 18. The Hill reports that the auction will include drilling rights for 41.2 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico. There will be 7,788 blocks of unleased areas in the Gulf which could yield ...

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Jindal proposes mix of cuts, one-time fixes to close deficit

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to use $43 million in stopgap funds and nearly $61 million in cuts to close the state’s latest budget deficit this year. The Jindal administration released its budget rebalancing plan Friday. Lawmakers will consider the recommendations on Feb. 20. Jindal wants to shift dollars from a gaming enforcement fund to plug ...

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Army Corps eyes new navigation lock in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — After years of delays and legal wrangling, the Army Corps of Engineers is once again looking at replacing a historic navigation lock inside New Orleans with a new lock to help speed up barge and maritime traffic moving through the city. Under a court order, the Army Corps is doing a new environmental study of a controversial ...

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La. roadway deaths drop 29 percent between 2007 and 2013

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says traffic fatalities dropped by 29 percent between 2007 and 2013. Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, the commission’s executive director, says the state had 993 traffic fatalities in 2007, compared with 703 in 2013, a drop of almost 30 percent. LeBlanc says the decrease stems from tougher impaired driving and seat belt ...

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Task force moves to empower local government

The issue of local authority over oil and gas permits has been a hotly-debated topic for the state of Colorado. Despite opposition, several proposals discussed at Monday’s Oil and Gas Task Force meeting could facilitate a more powerful role for local governments in permitting oil and gas development and operation, the Denver Post reports. Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed the task ...

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Will the St. Tammany Parish Council bump up its legal budget?

With a lawsuit looming uncertainly in the future, the St. Tammany Parish Council is considering boosting its allocated funds for the legal effort. Although the council has already budgeted $125,000 for the courtroom battle, a resolution has been put forward for an additional $50,000. The parish council is set to vote on the proposal on Thursday, February 5, according to the ...

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Legal battles from 2010 spill to unfold in 2 US courtrooms

NEW ORLEANS — Legal battles arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill play out in two federal courtrooms in New Orleans this coming week. On Monday, trial resumes in a federal district courtroom where BP and a minority partner in its ill-fated Macondo well are trying to fend off billions in Clean Water Act penalties. On Tuesday, federal ...

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Maps released detail proposed upgrades to Baton Rouge lakes

BATON ROUGE, La. — Ideas to turn the ailing LSU lakes into a showcase range from dredging the sediment that’s been choking the water bodies to building boardwalks and parks and restricting traffic. The Advocate reports hundreds of residents pored over maps of potential traffic changes, ecological features and where dredge material from the lakes could be placed Thursday night. Some ...

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Bid process to start on Larose floodwall

THIBODAUX, La. — The Larose floodwall project is moving closer to the start of construction. Sandy Guidry, a project engineer with Angelette-Picciola design firm, tells The Courier her company is finalizing the design package now and should start the bid process within the next two weeks. When Guidry updated the Lafourche Parish Council Tuesday, Councilman Phillip Gouaux (GOO’-oh interrupted with ...

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Low oil prices strike Louisiana’s industrial growth

Last year, Sasol Ltd. announced it had received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a gas-to-liquids plant and an ethane cracker facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana. Now the South Africa-based company is delaying its investment in the project, according to a press release. Sasol was set to invest $11 billion into the new facilities, a massive ...

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