All day long we’ve been inundated with buzz about Eddie Rispone’s attack on Ralph Abraham, and it’s a real shame that happened yesterday. It turns out something which is a whole lot more important to the future of the state took place today in Lafayette – or, perhaps more to the point, not in Lafayette.
Meaning that today was the Southern Energy Conference, put on by Louisiana’s two oil and gas industry groups the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA). Part of the festivities today was a gubernatorial forum that both Abraham and Rispone attended along with Democrat candidate Omar Dantzler (who almost assuredly managed to pick up a few campaign checks from some in the crowd).
But somebody else wasn’t there.
John Bel Edwards, the state’s incumbent governor who has overseen the near-complete demolition of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana, didn’t show up to the industry event.
Perhaps that’s not surprising, seeing as though the last time Edwards attended an oil and gas industry event at which there was a gubernatorial forum, he gave a mailed-in speech about how great Louisiana was doing (as of last week there were precisely two active land-based rigs in South Louisiana, which is an all-time low), and then watched as Abraham pulled out a copy of a letter he had written to governmental officials in the state’s coastal parishes informing them that if they didn’t commence coastal lawsuits against the oil and gas industry, he would. Abraham then proceeded to rip up the letter and toss it at Edwards’ feet while promising “never again” would the office of the governor engage in such predatory activity against the industry were he to be elected governor.
But it’s where Edwards was rather than in Lafayette which was such an eyebrow-raiser. The Louisiana Republican Party picked up that story in a press release…
Today, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) will hold the first Southern Energy Conference in Lafayette. The event includes a gubernatorial candidate forum, for which the hosts issued an invitation to Governor John Bel Edwards to participate in May – nearly four months in advance.
The oil and gas industry is the largest employer in Louisiana, responsible for over 250,000 direct and indirect jobs and over $2 billion in yearly tax revenue.
But Edwards won’t be there to articulate his vision for the future of the industry that employs more people in Louisiana than any other – or to answer questions about his support for frivolous lawsuits against energy companies that benefit his trial lawyer cronies and kill Louisiana jobs.
Why? He’ll be in Atlanta raising campaign cash from supporters of far-left extremists like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren has promised a moratorium on all new offshore leases and is a co-sponsor of the “Green New Deal” pushed by socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which would destroy Louisiana’s energy industry.
Former Georgia Democratic Governor Roy Barnes, a host of the fundraiser, has donated to Warren, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and Hillary Clinton.
Another host, Keith Mason, gave $100,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund in 2016.
“Our economy runs on oil and gas,” explained LAGOP Executive Director Andrew Bautsch. “Green New Deal supporting socialists like John Bel Edwards and Elizabeth Warren are destroying Louisiana jobs!”
At least the people of Louisiana will know where their governor is and what he’s doing when he travels out of state this time. Edwards’ out-of-state trips are typically shrouded in secrecy, including as recently as yesterday when his office refused to tell reporters what he was up to in Houston.
This follows a pattern of Edwards refusing to answer questions and hiding basic information about trips to out-of-state locations including New York City, California, and the Kentucky Derby from the media and the public.
Safe to say that isn’t a great look. And the Georgia angle here is one which could ultimately end up biting Edwards. Stacey Abrams, after all, was clearly the most obnoxious of last year’s Democrat losers, dropping the Georgia governor’s race by more than 50,000 votes and then proceeding to whine that she had the race stolen from her due to “suppression” of the black vote in that state. That was an allegation a bit difficult to prove, seeing as though black turnout in the race was the highest it had ever been and the “suppression” tactics being alleged were very simple and conventional ballot integrity measures in common use all over the country. The Democrats have been trying to find something they could do with Abrams, one of the more vituperative socialists and race-hustlers in the entire party, ever since – but so far, the only thing she seems interested in is running a political action committee.
And that PAC is backing Edwards, who calls himself a moderate and centrist.
Finally admitting (but still not conceding) that she is not, in fact, the current governor of Georgia, left-wing activist Stacey Abrams has shifted gears and announced she is working to elect like-minded liberals in the Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi governor’s races. Launching her new group “Fair Fight 2020,” Abrams made it clear that organization’s first order of business is supporting Democrats Andy Beshear, John Bel Edwards, and Jim Hood.
As reported by The Washington Times¸ at a launch event for the group in August, Abrams stated, “We know that there are statewide races happening this year in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana, so we’re there.”
Abrams, who supports government run single-payer healthcare, has suggested that illegal immigrants should vote, and has pushed for sanctuary city policies while demonizing law enforcement, reportedly sees the 2019 gubernatorial elections as a prime opportunity to spread her message.
Democrats in the states are embracing Abrams’ assistance. The Louisiana Democratic Party stated that they are “grateful for the assistance from Fair Fight,” and the Mississippi Democratic Party said that they “look forward” to Abrams’ organization being in the state, adding that “need all the help [they] can get” on Jim Hood’s behalf.
Beshear and Abrams share more than just liberal positions – both have been endorsed by and touted their support for the radical left wing group “Indivisible,” which advocates for impeaching the president and accuses the federal government of funding “concentration camps.”
“Stacey Abrams’ radical agenda includes open borders, massive tax hikes, single-payer health care, impeaching the president, and she has suggested that illegal immigrants are part of the Democrats’ electorate,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “The fact that her shadowy organization is working to elect John Bel Edwards, Jim Hood, and Andy Beshear is proof positive that these candidates are typical liberal Democrats.”
The Louisiana media isn’t going to push that angle, of course, but the more these things add up the more you’re going to have the oil and gas industry inching toward getting involved in the race.
Unless, of course, and this is a definite problem we’ve heard a good deal about from folks on the campaign trail both within the candidates’ camps and among third party players, the industry has just gotten to such a point wherein they’ve completely given up on Louisiana and made the determination that fighting for reform and improvement here is a lost cause – and all they want to do is to get out.
That’s an attitude Louisiana cannot afford to allow the oil and gas industry to have, but a great many of them have it. If Edwards, who in his four year term is on pace to be responsible for 100,000 more people leaving Louisiana than moving in, continues as governor it’s entirely reasonable to foresee the loss of a large portion of those 250,000 jobs in the industry here as Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and other states with robust and growing oil and gas industries attract workers and capital which should be here.
You would think Edwards might think he has a duty to the state which elected him governor to speak to those concerns. Instead he’s in Atlanta with a bunch of Hard Left loons raising campaign cash. That’s a pretty firm signal where his loyalties lie.