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Climate alarmism ready to gouge LA taxpayers

If you think climate realism of Louisiana’s Republican legislative majorities will keep the climate alarmism of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards from hurting Louisianans, think again.

Earlier this year, Edwards’ task force designed to produce recommendations to force the state into hitting the alarmists’ goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and halfway there by 2035 issued its report. The most drastic measures are dead in the water without cooperation by the Legislature and GOP-majority Public Service Commission, but it outlined plenty of mischief available for perpetration onto the state in the remainder of his term.

Last week, he gave some insight into that by acting on one of the pieces of advice rendered in the report. Upon receipt of the first tranche of funding from the Democrat Pres. Joe Biden Administration (assisted into law by Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy) for electric vehicle (EV) charging station rollout, he announced plans to transitioning the state’s public fleet to low- and zero-emission vehicles by a rolling replacement of state vehicles across all agencies.


Study underscores Edwards pandemic missteps

As other jurisdictions begin to fall prey to repeating folly associated with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, Louisiana and specifically Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards should learn from his mistakes as highlighted by a new study.

The Committee to Unleash Prosperity recently released a report on the efficacy of measures taken in the pandemic by U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It reviewed both health and economic statistics to rank order states in their responses, where higher grades went to states that endured less economic destruction, reduced educational disruption, and whose citizens suffered fewer deaths (either from the virus or in excess deaths triggered by restrictions). To refine further the explanatory power of policy, the economic indicators were adjusted by composition of state economies (such as Louisiana being more vulnerable due to its reliance on tourism) and by overall state health (such as Louisiana being more vulnerable due to worse lifestyle factors). The authors noted that of these mortality likely was the least likely least affected by policy.

All in all, Louisiana — and by extension Edwards’ policies, since statute permitted little legislative input — didn’t fare badly on the index. It ranked not far below average at 29th, although only Virginia scored worse among southern states. Also of note, of the 28 states ahead of it, only eight didn’t have unified Republican governance and just one didn’t have the GOP in control of at least one branch. By contrast, of the 22 behind, only four had unified Republican control and split control in three, leaving the other 15 under complete dominance of Democrats.


One poll does better in assessing LA officials

I’m not sure what to make of a survey by my alma mater concerning Louisiana’s major statewide elected officials that stood in great contrast with another recent poll of the same figures, or even whether it can tell much meaningfully at all given the characteristics of that effort.

Recently, JMC Analytics completed a poll of 600 statewide likely voters in the period Mar. 21-23, apparently by random interactive voice with about three-quarters coming from cell phones, without a response rate listed. A week later, from Mar. 28-Apr. 1, the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center did the same of 325 statewide registered voters through live interviewing asking for a particular respondent with an unknown distribution of cell phones involved that triggered a response rate of seven percent. Both adjusted sample composition to reflect race, sex, and geography, while JMC also balanced its by partisanship and UNO by age.

The JMC effort asked many more questions and differently, using a five-category Likert ordering by creating “very” and “somewhat” vessels for approval or disapproval to go along with “no opinion.” UNO asked about only those three figures using just response categories of “approve,” “disapprove,” and “don’t know.” (Survey research literature generally considers “don’t know” and “no opinion” as interchangeable methods of preventing neutral answers, which may disguise themselves as actually a respondent not caring, or at least not caring enough about the question to spend the cognitive effort to form and relate an opinion.)


Woke EPA prepares to bully LA processors

Here comes the punch to Louisiana telegraphed a couple of months ago, by an Environmental Protection Agency clearly captured by woke special interests against which the people and their elected officials must fight back.

Last week, the EPA announced it would investigate alleged state agency discrimination against black residents of an area with a large concentration of chemical manufacturers. Like a puppet, the agency parroted flimsy claims made a couple of months ago by a special interest group in the area that the state too cavalierly allowed permits for some facilities (one existing, one planned, and a proposed grain elevator) which provoked an “environmental justice” violation, or an example of an institution by its systemic nature discriminating against racial minorities in its allowing greater pollution where they disproportionately live.

Of course, the “environmental racism” behind this is a notion is a myth, dispelled beginning a quarter-century ago yet which continues in discourse only because its advocates redefine it not as a produce of intent, but of outcome that makes the concept lose its discerning power. More specifically to the case at hand, concerning permit decisions for the existing and planned producers in St. John the Baptist Parish, through a series of dishonest claims beginning with the oft-refuted assertion that people living in so-called “Cancer Alley” have significantly higher rates of cancer, it rears its ugly head. In reality, the best recent study, of plant employees where it contains a proxy for exposure as opposed to others that measure cancer incidence and distance from emission only crudely, confirms no elevated cancer rates.


Peterson bails while left embraces her style

My doctorate isn’t medical, but Democrat former state Sen. Karen Peterson finally took my advice, ironically as the party in which she served in a senior position increasingly has adopted the unhinged style that she practiced in her legislating.

Last week, on the Louisiana Senate floor, Peterson called quits to her 23-year legislative career about 20 months early, citing a decision to focus on her personal life. She publicly has battled gambling addiction, which she attributes to depression.

Some specific incidents in recent years hinted at her personal struggles. In 2016, Peterson went ballistic over a colleague’s birthday cake she called sexist and profanely chewed out its creators and recipient. In 2019, she also became vituperative over her exclusion to admission to a casino, even though being barred being was her idea.