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LA climate policy paper mugged by reality

On the heels of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards skipping off to a meeting dominated by climate alarmists comes news of his wasteful Climate Initiatives Task Force’s mission already getting mugged by reality.

Before departure, Edwards delivered a bizarrely ignorant spiel about how Louisiana had to join the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming bandwagon because of a presumed huge worldwide move towards renewable energy in the next decade that otherwise would leave the state behind economically, and also miss out on shedding other energy jobs for those on the renewable side. He didn’t acknowledge this transition would happen very slowly because of increasing global energy demand, huge physical challenges, and tremendous costs that voting publics won’t tolerate, nor that the transition would cost jobs and leave worse ones in the place of those that survived.

As if on cue, preliminary conclusions released by this group he created and appointed that operates on taxpayer funds, loaded with CAGW fellow-travelers with a couple of deer-in-the-headlights representatives of industry, showed the state would miss Edwards’ self-imposed net zero carbon deadline of 2050, or any of his interim goals – and would have to hit the jackpot on several minor miracles even to get close. In essence, that would require extensive government intervention, both at the state and federal level, both in terms of heavy-handed regulation and lavish subsidization, that would be enormously expensive and rely on technology that doesn’t even exist.


Edwards renewable delusion wasting tax dollars

After signaling to the world his continued infatuation with his zero Covid fantasy, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards left the state to chase his other zero fantasy, after making comments that would be risible if they didn’t promise punishment to Louisiana.

That road trip heads to Scotland, where a gathering of governments and nongovernmental organizations infested with climate alarmists will commit further propaganda wedded to the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming belief system that prompts mania for a net zero carbon regime. At Louisiana taxpayer expense, Edwards will troop there with other members of his administration to pledge his fealty to this faith.

But also, he insists, he’ll use his time there to stump for Louisiana to jump onto the economic opportunities engendered from the hysteria. “I want to be in front of people from all over the world who are making decisions about where they are going to deploy their capital over the coming years and decades as they seek to invest in these opportunities that will decarbonize,” he said in the days before his departure.


Edwards order keeps fantasizing, harming kids

Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards bowed to reality in mostly scrapping the face covering mandate he dictated months ago, but even in partially doing the right thing his action betrays the fundamental misunderstanding that has shaped his botched response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

His announcement papers over that the scientific case for reimposing the mask mandate nearly three months ago was weak, besides the obvious facts that such an order does little to reduce transmission. That it included children bordered on state-authorized child abuse, as children almost never become seriously ill from the virus but face coverings cause developmental drawbacks for some.

At the time, Edwards and his appointees stirred up visions of apocalyptic scenarios without revisiting the mandate, despite the real-world evidence that showed with no new government intrusions a peak in new cases would occur soon, followed shortly thereafter by hospitalizations, and finally deaths (which, predictably, unlike the other two indicators didn’t reach an all-time high precisely because disproportionately the healthier population comprised the new cases). That’s exactly what happened, with the mask mandate (the research argues) contributing little to that.


LA Downs sale illustrates state track problems

Completing the sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs illustrates the massive problems facing Louisiana’s once-mighty horse racing industry.

The state’s Gaming Control Board signed off on the $22 million deal last week, and the state’s Racing Commission is expected to follow suit this week. The new owner, Rubico Acquisition, pledged as part of the deal to keep the thoroughbreds and quarter horses running, and hopes to expand casino gaming.

For the once-proud racetrack really has become a racino first and foremost. Handle from both live and simulcast racing in the first half of fiscal year 2020 totaled just short of $13.2 million, while revenue from slot machines (of which 15 percent gets kicked back to supplement race purses) for the whole year nearly tripled that at $37.6 million. That source in FY 2019 also exceeded the FY 2019 total for racing including off track betting, at Bossier City and the satellite location just west of Mississippi in Mound, by a few hundred thousand.


More new LA higher education spending unwise

Last year, it worked, but at long-term expense to Louisiana taxpayers. Legislators need to decide more wisely this year when it comes to Louisiana higher education.

With a legal requirement to submit budgetary suggestions, the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education traditionally has launched its annual version well in advance of budget formulation and quite publicly in October or November. In recent years, this typically involves asking for the moon when it appears the state could run a surplus, but then settling for peanuts. In other apparently leaner years, it asks for restoration of recent cuts and some more, and hopes for the best.

But last year, things were different. Backed by $331 million in federal government largesse from Democrats sending the country  much deeper into debt, higher education scored a $175.7 million increase, with more than $80 million coming from the general fund. Unlike every other state agency, almost all higher education funding comes from self-generated funding and the volatile general fund as opposed to dedications, so when it makes ongoing new commitments, it risks not having money available to fund that when budgets become tighter. Worse, higher education has to compete with other parts of government for general fund dollars, agencies less dependent upon these.