Erath. Erath, Louisiana
Published in 2004
If you don’t know where Erath, Louisiana, is…..you should. This sleepy Cajun town deep inside the bayous is anything but asleep. Some of the most Powerful people in World pay attention to Erath. And it’s all because of a small piece of real estate on the edge of town known as the Henry Hub.
The Henry Hub is an important intersection of natural gas pipelines serving a majority of North America. Natural Gas prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange is more or less set at the Henry Hub……in Erath, Louisiana.
This tiny Cajun village is also home to the “men’s club” which hosts the secret handshake meetings that Roland Peltier would attend while wearing his special Masonic hat. Several celebrities from The Story hang out with Scary Shary at the local watering hole in town called Shoots Tavern. The old Rodi Plant was just a few miles up the road from the Henry Hub, and my Abbeville landlord, Roland Peltier, was raised in Erath with his baby brother, Steven.
Today, the Erath Chief of Police is Roland’s baby brother, Steven Peltier.
In the next couple of weeks, the people of Erath will be getting the opportunity to vote for a new Police Chief, or if they choose, they can vote Steven Peltier back into the post. Steven is running for another term despite his big brother’s indictments on charges of Criminal Conspiracy, Racketeering and Securities Fraud. If Roland’s legal problems keep the Erath voters from giving Steven another term guarding the Henry Hub, well then, they can vote for Roland’s friend, Deputy Guy Nerren.
Guy Nerren spent a lot of time at the Rodi Plant when he was a Sheriff’s Deputy with Roland working for Raywood Lemaire. Deputy Guy drove his Sheriff’s truck around the Rodi Plant patrolling the grounds and keeping a close eye on the Airport out back. Deputy Guy Nerren and Deputy Kevin Fox would sit in lawn chairs and watch the runway while they waited for the High Rollers to show up. It was Deputy Guy Nerren’s responsibility to manage the escort from the Airport to the Rodi Plant for all of those High Rollers. Sheriff Raywood was often on the grounds, himself, to provide that escort personally.
Steven Peltier was no stranger at the Rodi Plant. In fact, I met Steven at the Plant on my second day of reporting to work in Abbeville. And since I was living with his Big Brother Roland, I’d see Steven at Roland’s house, too. Steven always showed up for a ride to the “Men’s Club” for the secret handshake meetings. Guy Nerren was another secret handshake member of the “Men’s Club” and a frequent visitor to Roland’s back porch. There was never any doubt that Deputy Guy had the utmost respect and loyalty for…..Peedoo Broussard. Guy Nerren would do anything PeeDoo asked of him with absolutely no questions asked. Steven and Roland are equally loyal.
It’s easy to see why such loyalty is important in Erath. Having control of Erath is the same as having control of the Henry Hub and that’s not small potatoes. Nearly every BTU of Natural Gas on the continent passes through the Henry Hub. The North American market value for Natural Gas is derived from the output set at the Henry Hub in Erath. Erath, Louisiana.
Having control of Erath is like having a control valve on natural gas profits.
Flow capacity through the Henry Hub is approximately 2 billion cubic feet per day (2,000,000 Mcf/day). A natural gas processing plant for stripping liquids from the natural gas stream is also part of the Henry Hub complex. Plus, there is 10 billion cubic feet of salt dome cavern storage capacity at the Hub. And it’s all operated by Bridgeline Holdings L.P., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Texaco. The Henry Hub itself is owned and operated by Sabine Pipeline LLC, another subsidiary of Chevron Texaco. There is no doubt that Chevron’s Condoleeza Rice knows exactly where Erath, Louisiana, is.
The large natural gas processing plant, and the salt cavern storage facility connected to the site renders the Henry Hub the most viable of major natural gas delivery points in North America and, hence, plays an extraordinarily prominent role in the daily life and financial stability of America’s consumers, corporations, and the nation’s energy security. This combination of facilities, direction of flow around the nation, and pure physical volume make the Henry Hub the most vigorous trading point in the North American natural gas market.
Report from: New York Mercantile Exchange (nymex.com/education/info)
And it’s in Erath. Erath, Louisiana.
Most of those pipelines that feed off the Henry Hub in Erath were owned by the ENRON Corporation until ENRON sold their pipeline assets to Dick Kinder. Dick was President of the ENRON Corporation until 1996 when he decided to get into the pipeline business for himself. And Dick had a lot of help getting in the “biz” from his friends in high places.
A meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on September 7, 1996, took place just weeks before Dick Kinder took control of America’s Natural Gas pipelines. According to U.S.intelligence sources, a meeting was held between 40 representatives from ENRON, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, and Taliban leaders from Afghanistan.
Khashoggi reportedly represented Saudi government and business leaders. Also involved in the Tashkent talks were representatives from UNOCAL, which had been negotiating with the Taliban on a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline that would transfer Natural Gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. That pipeline was supposed to support ENRON’s Power Plant in Dabhol, India.
UNOCAL is now owned by……Chevron Texaco. Condoleeza’s old paycheck.
UNOCAL consultants on that pipeline project included Bush administration resident Zalmay Khalilzad (a native of Afghanistan) and Hamid Karzai, who had good relations with the Kandahar-based Taliban.
Karzai was placed as the Interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan at the insistence of George Bush. Khalilzad was the Special National Security assistant working for Condoleeza. George Bush later appointed him as the Presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan.
Just a couple of months prior to the Tashkent meeting, on June 23, 1996, $10 billion was wired by the Royal Saudi Family from a Cypriot bank through Barclay's Bank in London and then on to Houston. The Saudis needed to pump money into ENRON to make the company a viable financial entity for negotiating the pipelines through Afghanistan. Some of that $10 billion ended up in the hands of LJM1 (also known as LJM Cayman, LP), one of the corporate off-shore and off-balance sheet "partnerships" set up by ENRON with the help of its Chief Financial Officer, Andy Fastow.
The Tashkent meeting was held to discuss the natural gas pipeline that would go from Uzbekistan, through Afghanistan, to Iran's southern coast. In the Spring of 1997, the Taliban sent envoys to Houston to meet with ENRON and UNOCAL officials concerning the pipeline deal. The meetings were held at the Houstonian hotel.
Informed sources say that a major portion of the $10 billion wired by the Saudis to ENRON passed through the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and was eventually used by Dick Kinder’s company, Kinder-Morgan, to purchase ENRON's natural gas pipeline system in the United States. Those pipelines all connect to the Henry Hub…..in Erath.
To make the CentGas pipeline projects profitable, the Saudis wanted to hike the price of natural gas and that could only be accomplished by manipulating the natural gas pipeline network in the United States. The Saudis were major investors in ENRON and saw the company facing a financial boon on the plan to pipe natural gas to Enron’s Power Plant in Dabhol, India. All they needed was for another firm to run the U.S.natural gas pipeline assets of ENRON, and Kinder Morgan was that company. It was a great "inside" deal. Dick Kinder, who left ENRON as President in November 1996, was an old college chum of Ken Lay and Bill Morgan. Kinder and Morgan invested $40 million dollars buying Enron's natural gas lines. Ten years later they were worth fifteen billion dollars.
When I met Dick Kinder in my Rodi office…..just up the road from the Henry Hub in Erath,……there was no way for me to tell that he was the third richest man in Texas. Dick’s humble personality made it a pleasure whenever he dropped in to say hi. Our conversation was generally about his dogs and the usual meaningful small talk. Dick Kinder was a very frequent visitor in my Rodi office…..just up the road from Erath.
I wonder if Dick ever dropped in at Shoots Tavern when he was in town?
Shoots Tavern is the local watering hole where gossip is shared, ideas are traded and deals are made. Boy, wouldn’t I like to be a fly on the wall in that place. Bet the conversation is full of “inside” information, eh? But Shoots already has a Bar Fly………called Scary Shary.
According to Roland and Theresa and Hector and what I witnessed, myself, Scary Shary was the Sheriff’s Prostitute. Deputy Kevin Fox was moonlighting for Clem Simoneaux as a bouncer at The Oaks and Shary would get a guy drunk then take him to her bed up back of The Oaks. Clem would take pictures to hand over to Sheriff Lemaire, and the Sheriff would use them for blackmail. Deputy Kevin and Deputy Roland just couldn't help themselves, and had to share the pictures on our back porch.
Just before I left Louisiana, I had a conversation with Marshall Delcambre. Marshall was good pals with Cliff Baxter. Cliff had recently been in town and he was in very dark Spirits. I asked Marshall if he had noticed that Cliff was unusually dark.
Marshall said that he wasn’t sure about the details behind Cliff’s mood, but he did know that Shary had got Cliff Baxter drunk. Marshall told me that: “Cliff told her way too much.”
I responded to Marshall, saying: “too bad for Cliff” then Marshall answered: “Too bad for Shary”.
It wasn’t looking so good for Shary when she disappeared with Deputy Kevin in 2001. No wonder she ain’t talkin’.
She’s stuck in Erath. I wonder if the Monkey Man lives in back of Shoots now, and I wonder if Roland Peltier still runs a chop shop out of Erath. It’d be the perfect location for a chop shop when you consider his baby brother, Steven, is the Chief of Police there.
Roland agreed to loan Rodi his chop shop welder after Kevin Fox broke ours. It was my pleasure to go with Roland and pick up the welder from his car chopping shop in Erath. Roland had hired an individual with a violent history to run the chop shop. According to Roland, the chop shop Boss had murdered his wife, stabbing her dozens of times over and over, and then left her body in a cane field. Roland said that the Vermilion Sheriff’s Office couldn’t find enough evidence on the chop shop Boss to prove his guilt, so, Roland hired him to run the chop shop. Roland explained to me: Sometimes you need a crazy guy to get the job done, “This guy is crazy enough to do anything”.
And he works for Roland…..in Erath.
Another convenience of Roland’s is his camp. Roland has a camp just outside of Erath, in the Bayous Tigre. He and Bob Clayton took me to the camp, letting me know that’s where I’d end up if I got any big ideas. There were boards laid out like trails so you could walk on the mushy surface of the ground. Littered in the Camp field were skeletal remains. I can’t help but wonder how convenient it must be to have a crazy guy chop shop in Erath, when your little brother is the Chief of Police for the Town.
The first time Bob drove me out to the camp, he couldn't find the turn and was driving slow when... out NOWHERE, a motorcycle Ninja rider whizzed past us so fast that we didn't hear him until he was already past us. I told Bob, "I won't be happy if I have to scrape that guy off the pavement five miles from now."
Two seconds later, the Ninja's foot peg made contact with the asphalt, and that's all it took to launch him 30 feet up into the trees. We found him on the side of the coulee while he was struggling to get his helmet off. Bob went to the Ninja while I called 911.
An Angel appeared. She was a nurse who came on the scene right behind us. We waited for an aid car for half an hour while the that Angel spoke comforting words to the Ninja. At least, she was the Angel that day for half an hour until the Ninja stole that crown away from her when he entered the gates of heaven that day.
To the rest of the World, it’s just sleepy little ol’ Erath, Louisiana. But for the “insiders”, it’s the home of good ol’ boy secret handshakes, dirty chop shop deals, and a slow 911 response time.
Oh, yeah, it’s also the control valve to Dick Kinder’s riches.
That’d be Erath. Erath, Louisiana.