Louisiana News Briefs

By David Jacobs | The Center Square

Louisiana, 19 parishes to receive almost $110M in offshore energy revenue

Louisiana’s annual share of revenue from offshore oil-and-gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is almost $88 million, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Tuesday. Nineteen parishes also will get shares ranging from about $730,000 to more than $2.1 million, for a total of about $110 million.

Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and their “coastal political subdivisions” will receive a total of almost $249 million.

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 created a revenue-sharing model for oil- and gas-producing states along the Gulf of Mexico to receive a portion of the revenue generated from oil and gas produced offshore in the gulf. The money is used to support coastal conservation and restoration projects, hurricane protection programs and activities to implement marine and coastal resilience management plans.

LSU survey: More residents say state headed in wrong direction than right direction

According to the 2021 Louisiana Survey, which LSU’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs conducts, 46% of residents said the state is heading in the wrong direction, while 42% said it is heading in the right direction.

The results represents a shift from the 2019 survey, when 43% said the state was heading in the wrong direction and 47% said it was heading in the right direction. The change is within the survey’s margin of error, according to a summary that accompanied the survey’s release.

“The pandemic appears to have had little, if any, effect on what Louisiana residents think about the direction of the state,” the survey’s summary read.

However, the pandemic has shifted the public’s priorities for what problems the state government should tackle. The economy and the pandemic are the top two concerns, replacing education and transportation infrastructure, which topped the list two years ago.

Forty-one percent of state residents said they are either very confident or somewhat confident in state government to address problems effectively, which is on par with annual results from the Louisiana Survey since 2013.

Disaster food benefits approved for 23 parishes affected by winter storms

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has received federal approval to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program operations in 23 parishes severely affected by the winter storms Feb. 15-18, DCFS announced Tuesday.

The application process will run in two phases between Monday and April 17, and will follow an alphabet schedule according to applicants’ last names. DSNAP provides food assistance to eligible households that do not receive regular SNAP benefits and need help buying groceries because of lost income or damages after a disaster.

Residents of the following parishes may be eligible: Avoyelles, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Baton Rouge, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, Madison, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Webster, West Carroll and Winn. More information is available at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

Kennedy: Louisiana fisheries to get more than $12.3M

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA, will provide more than $12.3 million to help Louisiana commercial fisheries and associated businesses recover from the COVID-19-related downturn, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy announced Tuesday.

The funding is provided through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and will support activities that have been authorized by the federal CARES Act, according to Kennedy’s office.

“Commercial fisheries support one of 70 jobs in Louisiana, and the pandemic hit them hard,” Kennedy said. “Louisiana fishermen are resilient, and these funds will help get our fisheries back on their feet.”