If Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ has his way, industrial decarbonization will soon be coming to Louisiana.
Edwards issued an executive order in August 2020 creating the Climate Initiatives Task Force to develop recommendations to hit “net zero” statewide carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
Composed of over two dozen members drawn from government, academia, the private sector, and advocacy groups, the task force has developed a series of policy recommendations, which would have to be approved by the Governor and/or the legislature, requiring industrial facilities to either reduce their emissions either by changing their manufacturing processes or by capturing and storing their emissions underground through sequestration, or both.
Goal: Cut Emissions
The task force has recommended that large industrial facilities cut their carbon dioxide emissions between 26 and 28 percent below 2005 levels, by 2025; reduce net emissions between 40 to 50 percent below 2005 levels, by 2030; and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Under the CITF’s proposals, large industrial facilities would be required to obtain permits for their emission reduction plans from the relevant state regulatory agencies. The same agencies would have to certify the emission reduction goals are met.
The CITF has also recommended Louisiana force its transportation sector to reduce its emissions, including trucks and the ships serving the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, through a separate permitting process.
As an alternative, the CITF has suggested Louisiana develop its own “carbon pricing” mechanism, or a carbon tax, to reduce emissions, in case Edwards or the legislature rejects its permitting recommendations.
Turning ‘Louisiana into California’
Edwards should be praising Louisiana’s oil and gas industry and its workers rather than trying to destroy them, says Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research.
“Gov. Edwards’ plan to target oil and gas development and the petrochemical industries in Louisiana would mean the loss of hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs for no good reason,” Kish said. “Trying to make Louisiana into California makes no sense and hiding it behind some kind of extra-legal commission is a cowardly way to proceed.
“Houma isn’t Hollywood, and the people living there are grateful for that,” said Kish. “The governor should stop apologizing for the honest hard work of people who make their living in the oil and gas industry and stand up for them for once; the coastal elites and DC are doing a good enough job kicking Louisiana in the teeth without Edwards helping them.”
Edwards’ CITF plan will have no impact on carbon dioxide emissions, says Jay Lehr, Ph.D., a senior analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition.
“The CITF’s plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at some point in the future are nothing but virtue-signaling,” Lehr said. “None of this will have any measurable effect on the climate, but it will have a harmful effect on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Louisiana.”
Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D., (email@example.com) is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and a senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.