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.
That’s not going to happen. Never mind that the climate sensible Republican-led Legislature, who doesn’t appear in line to lose its majority status anytime soon, and the GOP seems almost certain to have one of their own as governor from 2024 and beyond, never would agree to throwing away tax dollars to make a dent in the prohibitively expensive wind/solar battery combination necessary to come close to the targets, nor would impose draconian regulations. The federal government itself currently has on the books subsidies that will expire over the next four years, and a Congress soon headed for a large GOP majority seems far more likely to curtail these than to expand them, especially in such a dramatic way that it will make renewable energy at the scale required even remotely cost-effective and thereby avoiding passing on huge utility rate increases to consumers, as populations have suffered in Europe because of policies born of its fixation of transiting to renewable energy.
And that move would have to be huge. Only 2.5 percent of the state’s power comes from renewable sources – explaining why its industrial energy cost is in the middle of the pack but especially why its residential rates are the lowest among the states.
Of course, to justify huge taxpayer and ratepayer expense you need an actual climate emergency the causes of which policy can affect– which the science says doesn’t exist. The latest research notes that temperatures in recent years and immediate future aren’t spiraling drastically upwards, and what upward movement occurred came almost entirely from solar radiation, not human emissions.
Early next year, the panel should produce final recommendations along these lines – undoubtedly ruinously expensive, unrealistic for achievement, and mooted in need by science – unlikely predicted to meet goals. These will be symbolic only, yet the Legislature shouldn’t treat the report as a dead letter but make a symbolic reply as well: a concurrent resolution condemning this waste of tax dollars and rejecting the document by reason of the shoddy science that lies behind the assumption of its necessity and its postulations of policy options that have no relationship to reality while foisting enormous expenses onto the public, especially harming the life prospects of lower-income households. Such an act would signal faith won’t supplant reason in Louisiana’s environmental policy-making, even if that has happened in the Governor’s Office.