Foster Campbell is an elected official, businessman and farmer from Bossier Parish. He was elected to the North Louisiana seat on the Public Service Commission (PSC) in November 2002, representing 24 parishes and nearly one million people. He was re-elected in October 2008 with 78 percent of the vote.
Before his election to the PSC, Campbell was a state senator representing District 36 in Northwest Louisiana for 27 years. For much of that time he advocated a modernization of how Louisiana taxes oil and gas. The state constitution limits oil and gas taxes to a severance tax that dates to 1921 and only addresses oil and gas produced in Louisiana. That means the vast sums of oil and gas imported into Louisiana for processing are totally untaxed.
Campbell’s “processing” tax on oil and gas would take in all the oil and gas processed in the state, whether it was produced here or offshore or in foreign countries. Campbell’s tax, which was a centerpiece of his own campaign for Governor in 2007, would generate billions of dollars for coastal restoration and other state needs. The oil industry, as you might expect, hates the entire idea, just like they hate the lawsuits. Campbell feels that there is no more powerful lobby in Louisiana than the oil industry, which is why such concepts as a processing tax and a lawsuit tying oil companies to coastal erosion are revolutionary.
At the PSC Campbell has pushed to make utility companies and the commission more responsive to the public. He led efforts to prohibit wining and dining of commissioners and Commission staff by utilities. He hosts public and Commission meetings in his district each year. He has championed lower rates, energy efficiency and the use of renewable power. He passed measures to help victims of family violence by waiving their utility deposits, stop disconnection of utilities during extreme weather, and lower telephone rates charged to families of inmates.
Campbell holds a degree in business and economics from Northwestern State University at Natchitoches. He owns and operates two insurance agencies in Bossier City. He lives and raises cattle at Elm Grove in south Bossier Parish.
What standards should be used for college admissions?
This fall, LSU instituted a “holistic admissions” process for incoming students which relies more on essays and recommendations than on College Board test scores and grade point averages. Proponents of the move say it’s a better way to identify strong students while opening up opportunities for families not financially able to afford prep classes for standardized exams. Opponents say the move will increase student attrition and could endanger LSU’s flagship status. Examine the new standards from several different perspectives.
Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “An Eye on Admissions” Wednesday, November 21 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.
Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Alexandria; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.