This is a story of how the oil and gas industry in Louisiana has used its power and influence to take billions of dollars in public money during a time of tight budgets for Louisiana government and used that power to beat the state out of still more money. It's a story about how they used their influence within the Jindal administration to limit and for a time shut down audits on severance tax payments. It's a story about how the industry captured the Department of Natural Resources and had the department advance its interests at the expense of the public interest. It's about how the industry made these money and power grabs during a time when persistent revenue shortfalls were forcing cuts in essential services needed by Louisiana residents.
This scandal has been hiding in plain sight. The outlines are contained in reports from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, publications by the Lousiana Department of Revenue, and the records of the Louisiana Legislature.
This is Looting Louisiana.