MORGAN CITY – The Louisiana attorney general brought federal and state issues to the attention of the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce recently.

Jeff Landry talked to a crowd of business owners and parish officials about the Clean Power Plan and sanctuary city regulations, among other issues, on Sept. 22.

Bob Harrison, chamber chairman, told the Louisiana Record that  it was interesting to hear personally about government at the state level and above.

“He comes down to the parish and talks to the people who elected him and can voice their opinions,” Harrison said. “The governor and attorney general are butting heads a lot and we need to get things done for the state. It seems like things are not flowing smoothly for us.”

Landry discussed his opposition to the Clean Power Plan, rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that would require existing coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

“The Clean Power Plan is another example of executive overreach and, just like other overly burdensome and extremely expensive Washington regulations, this unconstitutional EPA mandate is a job killer," Landry said in a press release. "The Clean Power Plan is a purely political attempt to force states into green energy submission."

Harrison said St. Mary Parish business owners are always concerned about electricity usage and their bills. The Clean Power Plan could have a negative effect, he said.

“If we did that, it would cost us thousands and thousands of extra on our bills, if we had to do that,” Harrison said.

The Clean Power Plan would be the first time that carbon limits would be applied to existing power plants. It’s been estimated that compliance costs would exceed $4 billion, according to Landry’s office.

A federal appeals court heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of 24 states, including Louisiana, that have challenged the Clean Power Plan. The court heard arguments last month in the case.

Also at the chamber luncheon, Landry talked about his office’s progress on sanctuary cities, which typically do not prosecute persons for being an undocumented immigrant, or shields them if they commit a crime.

“You’ve got to follow the rules and regulations of the law,” Harrison said. “We’ve got to get that taken care of.”

Last month, according to Landry’s office, the City of New Orleans changed its policy to allow the police department to cooperate with federal authorities. Landry testified at the U.S. House's "New Orleans: How the Crescent City became a Sanctuary City" hearing.

“Because of the efforts we made in Louisiana, our state no longer has any jurisdiction prohibited from communicating with federal immigration authorities,” Landry said in a statement.

Harrison also praised Landry’s pursuit of Medicaid fraud.

In August, the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit arrested four people from South Louisiana on Medicaid fraud charges. Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled, Landry’s office said.

“We all pay our tax dollars and they are being used fraudulently. It should be looked into,” Harrison said.

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