KSYL Local News

News For Monday 04/20/15

News for Monday 042015

By Dave Graichen

 

Today marks the five year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon spill, which is considered America’s worst environment disaster ever. An estimated three to four million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf for 87 days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. But LSU department of environmental sciences professor Ed Overton is impressed with how well the Gulf has bounced back. Overton says we’re lucky the oil that discharged from the damaged well was highly degradable and the gulf is well acclimated to degrade oil.

 

Oilfield services giant Schlumberger has announced plans to lay off approximately 11,000 additional employees due to the reduction in oil prices. LSU Economist Loren Scott says oil companies are dealing with oil prices roughly half of what they were a year ago. He says the drop in oil prices has led to a decline in exploration and production, mainly on land rigs. When those rigs aren’t drilling, there is less need for service companies. In January, Schlumberger announced they were reducing their workforce by 9,000 employees.

 

This week lawmakers will begin public hearings on how to deal with the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit. Legislation that would raise more revenue will get their first hearing today in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee. Governor Bobby Jindal says dealing with this deficit will be complicated, but feels conversations so far have been very positive. Jindal says the state could raise over half a billion dollars by taking away refunds given to businesses for 12 different taxes. Jindal says it would be wrong to protect these tax credits and then make deeper cuts to higher ed and health care.

 

The House Ways and Means Committee will begin hearing tax bills tomorrow. One proposed tax to generate more revenue that has received a lot of talk would raise the cigarette tax in Louisiana to the national average.

 

A new poll on the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire says Governor Bobby Jindal is someone to keep an eye on after receiving the best favorability rating out of all the presidential hopefuls. Tom Jensen with Public Policy Polling says Jindal’s favorability rating was 43-percent. He says it really stuck out on this poll. Jensen says Jindal has recently been excluded from their Republican presidential polls after consistently polling in last place. He says these new favorability numbers could see Jindal’s name thrown back in the mix.

 

The chairwoman of the Louisiana House Transportation Committee proposes a one cent sales tax that could generate $7 billion dollars over the next decade to help fund roads and bridges. Pierre Part Representative Karen St. Germain also has a bill that would increase the state tax on gasoline based on the price at the pump to help offset depletion of revenues that are supposed to be dedicated to improving highway capacity and infrastructure.

 

Sports..

 

LSU quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris combined to throw for 420 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday’s spring game. Harris threw for 178 yards and two scores, Jennings had 242 passing and two TDs. Coach Les Miles likes how the two developed over the spring, but they still need to get more consistent.

 

Louisiana Tech also completed spring practice on Saturday and three quarterbacks for the Bulldogs threw touchdown passes. Jeff Driskel threw for 269 yards and four touchdowns, Ryan Higgins had 214 passing yards and one TD and Price Wilson threw for 181 yards and a TD. Coach Skip Holtz says all three of them showed they are capable.

 

 

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