In a story you’ll only read here, The Independent investigates the tenure of former Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle, who is now vying to replace U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany in Louisiana’s Third Congressional District.
Angelle served as DNR secretary from 2004 to 2012, with the exception of a six-month stint as interim lieutenant governor. The story, “Scott Free,” which will be available on newsstands and at theind.com Monday, explores how Angelle and Gov. Bobby Jindal effectively gave control of the state’s severance tax collections to the oil and gas industry, costing the state hundreds of millions if not billions in revenue and abetting a budget crisis that led to devastating cuts to higher education and health care for the poor and disabled.
The idea that DNR should be in the business of auditing severance tax revenue from the oil and gas industry raised red flags even among supporters of the industry. “Having DNR audit the industry would not pass the smell test,” Roy O. Martin III, Jindal’s appointee as vice chair of the Commission on Streamlining Government, tells The Independent. “And I’m in the oil and gas business.”