Climate Denial Still Reigns in Louisiana Despite Scientists’ Dire Warnings

Louisiana is ground zero for the devastating impacts of climate change. Even though the state is already feeling the costly impacts to life and property due to extreme weather and an eroding coastline linked to a warming planet, its government continues to ignore the primary cause — human use of fossil fuels.

The impacts to the region, such as worsening floods, heat waves, and sea level rise, will only be intensified as the globe continues warming, warn federal scientists in the latest National Climate Assessment report.

But instead of heeding scientists’ warnings, Louisiana’s government continues to welcome the prospects of new billion-dollar petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, and an oil export hub, all without a mention of their climate change impacts.

Leading the pack, Gov. John Bel Edwards continues to gush over turning Louisiana into a world leader in natural gas and oil exports.

Louisiana politicians continue to claim natural gas is a “clean” source of energy, and usher in not only LNG facilities, but also petrochemical plants fueled by natural gas production.

In Plaquemines Parish, a peninsula south of New Orleans that, like all of southern Louisiana, is plagued by coastal erosion, the governor has hailed a new crude oil export terminal and a massive LNG facility that don’t yet have permits.

Embracing Fossil Fuels But Ignoring Climate Warnings

Gov. John Bel Edwards, when he was still a candidate for Louisiana Governor at a Democratic Party fundraiser in New Orleans in 2015.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, when he was still a candidate for Louisiana Governor at a Democratic Party fundraiser in New Orleans in 2015.

I asked the governor’s press secretary what he thought about the Fourth National Climate Assessment, an exhaustive review of environmental data by a team of hundreds of scientists that puts Louisiana square in the eye of physical and financial hardship due to climate…

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