Call and response: Gov. John Bel Edwards says President Donald Trump’s tariffs, used in trade disputes with other countries, are causing “pain” for Louisiana’s agricultural and petrochemical industries. Edwards typically refrains from criticizing the Republican president. But in a prepared statement issued today, Edwards blames the tariffs for new federal numbers that showed personal income growth in Louisiana slowed to among the lowest rates in the nation in the latest quarter. Read the full story.
Crude awakening: Oil prices fell more than 4% today, hitting their lowest in more than a year on worries about oversupply and the outlook for energy demand as a U.S. interest rate rise knocked stock markets, Reuters reports. Both major oil futures contracts have fallen more than 35% from multi-year highs reached at the beginning of October. Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, says he does not expect a sharp increase in oil prices in the short term. Read the full story.
Arctic blast: The Trump administration released this morning the draft of the environmental impact statement for its plan to sell oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Publishing the statement moves the administration one step closer to realizing the plan. The report poses four different options for handling any leases up for public review. Read the full story.