A top Louisiana lawmaker is pushing proposals to benefit independent gas stations -- of which he owns several.Actually, this is kind of quaint. Harris appears to be doing the corruption on his own behalf instead of in obeisance to the larger Koch or ALEC agenda that typically dominates state legislatures these days. This is some throwback lone ranger stuff.
When state Rep. Lance Harris isn't running the Louisiana House Republican Caucus as its chairman, he's back at home in Alexandria running his various businesses. Harris and his wife own Leebo's Stores, Inc. -- a chain of nine gas stations in the Alexandria area.
So it raised some eyebrows in the Louisiana Capitol when two of the six bills Harris introduced in the 2018 legislative session seemed to directly benefit independent gas stations, just like the ones he personally owns. Opponents of the proposals claim one of them would raise fuel prices across the state, which Harris denies.
Harris' proposal touches on a federal program that provides incentives around ethanol and other biofuels which "big box" gas stations get to use. Opponents said it's not even clear that Louisiana could pass that type of legislation without running into problems with the federal government.Now, if we really wanted to open up a conversation about supposedly "renewable" biofuels and agribusiness, that could actually get kind of complicated. But Harris doesn't care so much about that as he does his own gas stations.
"If the bill were to pass, there would be lawsuits," said Paul Rainwater, a lobbyist representing Growth Energy, a national group of ethanol and other biofuel producers. "No other state is even considering this type of law."
Anyway, how's that budget coming along?