Three stories by Quin Hillyer at Yellowhammer News (follow the links in the headlines below);

Strange, Byrne Lead Fight for Oil Revenue — (The story “before” the Conference ended, with plenty of detail worth reading….)


Success: Gulf coast money stays in tax bill!

The final House-Senate tax-reform bill unveiled on Friday does indeed include extra energy-royalty payments to Gulf of Mexico states, as originally inserted into the Senate version of the bill by Alabama’s U.S. Sen. Luther Strange and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy.

Yellowhammer reported on the battle for this extra funding earlier this week when U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Mobile spearheaded a letter to House leaders urging that they accept the Senate language.

The Cassidy-Strange language will allow the Gulf States (all but Florida, which allows no drilling off its shores) to collect a combined $150 million more in each of the years 2020 and 2021, to make up for a shortfall of $300 million in recent years. It is not clear exactly how much that will mean for Alabama, but the total extra revenue in those years from the Yellowhammer State should easily exceed $50 million.

The money comes under the provisions of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006…..

Lost judicial nomination isn’t the final Talley

For young Alabama lawyer Brett Talley, his withdrawal from consideration for a federal judgeship should not be the last word on his promising career.

With the right combination of graciousness and gumption, Talley can rise above this setback — just as a then-40-year-old judicial nominee named Jeff Sessions did when his nomination was derailed in 1986.

When I wrote two weeks ago that Talley probably ought to withdraw, I was merely urging him to recognize political reality. In the year of or immediately after the Charlottesville riots, no nominee of President Trump could possibly be confirmed once it surfaced that the nominee tried to split hairs about the Ku Klux Klan. In the year of or immediately after so many national controversies involving Alabama figures (Sessions, Luther Strange, Roy Moore), no Alabama nominee with so many small strikes against him could earn Senate approval.

Talley would have been horrendously vilified in floor debate, with no chance to defend himself and no real hope of winning.

Now, though, Talley should break the senseless tradition whereby judicial nominees speak for themselves only during their confirmation hearings, including the forswearing of comment if their nominations fail. Instead, he should use the occasion to make a public statement, even hold a press conference, that helps clear the air and reintroduces himself to a broader audience……


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