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LA dodged TX overreliance on renewable energy

Texas may have made itself unprepared for extreme wintery conditions, but years ago it saved Louisiana from itself that made the latter suffer much less from the Mardi Gras freeze of 2021.

Across the Bayou State, the dip well below freezing with ample precipitation in some places triggered intermittent power outages left as many as three percent of the population without power for more than a short period of time. The cold can affect the extraction and transport of nonrenewable fuels that keep generators going, as well as generator operation itself, plus demand increases to stave off the cold, both from consumers and operators who need heating to keep transport and generation going. Yet few Louisiana consumers, fortunately, went without power for more than a few hours.

However, in the Lone Star State around a tenth of the population suffered sustained power outages. This was exacerbated by the state’s nonparticipation in any of the regional power grids, although some parts are outside of it, which doesn’t permit it to import power into about 90 percent of the state. That system also has few incentives to increase resiliency in transport and generation, including provision at peak times such as this.


Kennedy riles Cassidy-like Never Trumpers

Although Louisiana’s junior senator has stirred a lot of controversy this month, don’t sleep on the state’s senior senator who stimulated debate about populism in politics, particularly among conservatives. And in the end, the topic loops back unto itself.

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy shocked his political base first by accepting the fair-to-middling contention that the Senate could try an impeached private citizen, then by assenting to the extraordinarily weak case that GOP former Pres. Donald Trump incited insurrection. Wiser heads prevailed to reject that, including Republican Sen. John Kennedy.

However, Kennedy provoked his own hullabaloo when he held forth on national television about the new U.S. special climate envoy, former Sec. of State, and failed Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry. Kerry travelled to and from Iceland by private plane in 2019 to receive an award for his environmental activism, and faced questioning from the local media about the appropriateness of it all, which he defended as necessary “for somebody like me.”


Cassidy missteps encouraging closed primaries

Louisiana’s Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy’s votes to proceed with an impeachment trial of GOP former Pres. Donald Trump and to convict will affect his political career, perhaps fatally. If so, a major contributor to that extinguishing may come from a spillover effect regarding the state’s election system.

Republican elected officials, party organs, and activists almost universally have condemned Cassidy for his actions. And they appear ready to visit punishment on Cassidy through changing the method by which the state votes for federal elected officials.

After using it in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles for national elections, Louisiana abandoned a closed primary system and reverted to its current blanket primary system. Elected officials at all levels of government have revived talk of reinstituting it, at least for national elections.


Unprincipled votes jeopardize Cassidy future

Can Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy rehabilitate himself, or does he want to?

In the span of a few days, Cassidy put himself in hot water with a significant segment of his constituents by first assenting to the constitutionality of an impeachment trial for GOP former Pres. Donald Trump, then by voting to convict him. He and six other Republicans ended up on the losing side, joining all Senate Democrats.

Perhaps more significantly, while three of those GOP votes came from swing-state senators – two planning on retiring and one who always has displayed unpredictablilty, and three others came from red states from senators who in the past had a pattern of criticism of Trump, Cassidy’s was the only one from a red state with a history of strong support for Trump’s actions. Further, on a prior motion in January to dismiss the impeachment on the grounds of unconstitutionality, Cassidy voted against holding the trial.