Helis Oil and Gas Company announced earlier this week that they would not pursue their proposed project near Lakeshore High School. The stated reason is that analysis of the sample did not indicate a profitable return. A recent Lee Zurik investigation indicates other possible factors for their withdrawal: discovery that one of the Justices hearing the case received campaign cash from Helis, amid rumors that other conflicts of interest were present.
At the very least, the Helis saga indicates a need for greater transparency with regard to the process of economic development in St. Tammany Parish. Incidentally, Parish President Pat Brister expressed the sentiment that in order to address issues of oil and gas extraction in the parish, it must be taken to the state legislature, a concept that CW has expressed numerous times since the beginning of the fracking controversy.
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