Fresh off his brief focus on crime, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is shifting focus to what is apparently the most pressing issue facing New Orleans, climate change. Landrieu is setting some ambitious goals that the city will try to meet by 2050. Landrieu, of course, is leaving office next year.
The mayor shared a preview of the policy document that will be made public Friday. Some of the goals its sets for the year 2030 include:
– 100 percent of power generation from low-carbon sources, with interim goals of 65 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2025.
– 55 megawatts of locally generated solar energy. For the sake of comparison, the new Entergy solar plant in New Orleans East generates 1 megawatt.
– A 50 percent increase in non-automobile trips through a redesign of regional public transit.
– Diverting 50 percent of waste bound for landfills through expanded recycling and other measures, with the goal of “zero waste achieved by 2050.”
Landrieu has paid relatively little attention to the issue in the previous seven years he has served as mayor. If climate change was such a big threat to the city of New Orleans, where was the mayor before now?
Instead, the shift to climate change serves two purposes. The first is to distract the citizens of New Orleans from real issues such as crime and deteriorating infrastructure. The second is to promote Landrieu’s national image in order to build up the presidential campaign that he says he’s not running. Climate change is a major issue of importance to the left and he will need to build up his green credentials in the presidential primaries.
Are these ideas good ideas? Who knows. They sound good to those who are concerned about the issue. But Landrieu won’t be around to implement any of them. He won’t be liable for the extra costs and any other drawbacks that may arise from these proposals.
Landrieu sees his job as another way to promote his national profile. This proposal is less a serious plan and more self-promotion by Landrieu.