China, India Increased Coal Production While Shaming Trump For His Paris Decision

China and India were critical of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but it turns out both countries boosted coal production about 4 percent during the first five months of this year.

The Associated Press ran the numbers, and figured out China and India boosted coal production in the first half of 2017 after cutting production the year before. China cut production 8 percent last year to boost coal prices and get rid of excess capacity as their economy faltered.

BP recently reported coal production saw its biggest drop on record in 2016, as more countries switched to using natural gas…


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Louisiana Spotlight: Gov. John Bel Edwards tries this new tactic in tax negotiations

Repeatedly hitting a wall of opposition from House Republicans, Gov. John Bel Edwards is trying a new tactic for the next round of tax negotiations, telling GOP leaders to get behind a plan or get ready for the slash-and-burn budget cuts that come with inaction.

The Democratic governor was unable in the recently ended legislative session to persuade House Republicans to rally around tax options for filling a more than $1 billion budget hole in mid-2018.

Citing a heap of stalled tax bills, Edwards suggests the special session on taxes that he and other legislative leaders have said was inevitable to close that gap might not happen after all, unless he can get House buy-in for a tax plan…


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Steve Scalise ‘doing well,’ Paul Ryan says after hospital visit

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he visited Rep. Steve Scalise in the hospital Thursday morning (June 22), finding the Louisiana congressman’s “spirits are up” eight days after being shot at a GOP team baseball practice. Ryan, R-Wis., said Scalise craved updates on work as he recovers at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

“He seemed like he’s doing real well,” Ryan said.

Scalise, a Jefferson Republican and the House majority whip, making him the No. 3 GOP member in the House, was wounded in the abdomen when a gunman opened fire June 14 at a ballfield in Alexandria, Va. He was admitted to the hospital in critical condition but was upgraded Wednesday to fair…


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Louisiana governor declares a state of emergency as tropical storm approaches Gulf Coast

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Cindy’s landfall.

The governor’s spokesman Richard Carbo said Edwards signed the statewide declaration Wednesday morning.

The storm is moving closer to the Gulf Coast, where it threatens to bring a storm surge of up to 3 feet…


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Alford: They said it at the Capitol, 2017 edition

This year’s marathon of legislative sessions were not short on biting, sarcastic remarks that prove love and politics don’t mix, Jeremy Alford writes in his latest column.

The sessions lumbered into view on Feb. 13, with Gov. John Bel Edwards apologizing to the spouses and significant others of state lawmakers during his opening address for the first special session.

“To your spouses and significant others who will spend yet another Valentine’s Day without you, I am sorry,” Edwards said…


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Winners and losers from the Louisiana Legislature’s latest special session

The Louisiana Legislature held an eight-day special session in June because legislators failed to pass the annual state budget during their 60-day regular session. A budget was needed by July 1 to avoid a partial shutdown of state government. Here’s who ended up getting what they wanted — and who didn’t — in the special session that ended Friday (June 16).

For weeks, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards had been fighting a House Republican leadership proposal to spend less revenue than the state expects to receive in the next fiscal year. In the end, he got what he wanted: The Legislature agreed to allocate all the expected revenue…


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Analysis: Next Louisiana budget negotiations will be tougher

Louisiana lawmakers made crafting their latest nearly $29 billion state operating budget a teeth-gnashing, stress-inducing struggle that took two legislative sessions to complete. That doesn’t bode well for what comes next.

The state had relatively solid financial footing, without massive budget gaps, for the financial year that begins July 1. Lawmakers generally just needed to set spending priorities and determine what they could afford. Those are the basic decisions expected of the legislative branch, which holds the state’s purse strings.

But lawmakers’ philosophical, partisan and personality divides made even those straightforward choices tough. And for the first time in 17 years, they failed to finish an operating budget in their regular legislative session, costing taxpayers extra money so they could go into overtime.

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The Rundown: Budget bill nears passage and elected officials rally around Steve Scalise

Today in The Rundown: Congressional Baseball Game serves as tribute to Scalise; state budget bill may be on the horizon; and everything else you need to know in Louisiana Politics today.


Days until the special session must end: 4

The News

Budget: The State Legislature is one step away from possibly passing a budget, but the Senate floor is the next test.


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Capitol Views: House bogged down in budget debate

State representatives entered the afternoon still debating amendments and asking questions about Louisiana’s spending plan for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. In a surprise twist Appropriations Vice Chairman Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, has been managing House Bill 1 on the floor today.

The bill’s lead author, Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, instead took a flight to Washington, D.C., this morning to be with his friend and former boss U.S. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot earlier in the day. Scalise remains in critical condition. (Lawmakers gathered for a prayer in the Capitol’s Memorial Hall before convening the budget hearing.)

Representatives were expected to be in a recess until around 3:30 p.m., at which time a final vote may be taken. Following a round of late-night negotiations with Gov. John Bel Edwards and Senate leaders, the House appears ready to pass a budget that appropriates the budget fully, rather than holding back money in case of a midyear shortfall…


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Alford: Inside the Capitol blame game

The fallout from the dramatic conclusion of last week’s regular session—and from the bumpy start to this term’s fourth special session—is only just beginning, says Jeremy Alford in his latest column.

“There are already well-publicized accusations that the Capitol’s top leaders are at best dysfunctional and at worst guilty of political malpractice,” he writes. “It’s a narrative that’s being driven full throttle into the minds of voters, fueled largely by engagement on social media and developing news coverage.”

Alford is betting the storyline will continue well past the adjournment of the special session on Monday. Everyone, he says, will be in search of just one answer: Who’s to blame? The targets will undoubtedly be Gov. John Bel Edwards, the House and Senate…


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