Louisiana voters have chosen as our AG one who is hurting us, and them. Yes, we vote against our own self interest.
What do you call people who hire employees to drive up their insurance rates, sink their property values and increase their risk of contracting terminal diseases? Louisiana voters. How else to explain the election of Jeff Landry as their attorney general? While his citizen-bosses suffer the growing impacts of climate change — larger hurricanes, record rainfalls, soaring insurance rates — Landry is attacking regulations needed to protect them.nola.com
He hews to the party line against climate change and other pro-consumer laws.
When parish governments sued oil and gas companies for the impacts of their wetlands-killing dredging and drilling activities, Landry opined “As Louisiana’s chief legal officer, I have significant concerns that these junk suits could find a home here and have serious negative effects on our economy.” When the world’s climatologists concluded climate change is real, the result of greenhouse gas emissions that were causing sea levels to rise at the fastest rates in 3,000 years, he called their work “a hoax.” When Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, staffed by noted coastal scientists and engineers, determined those rising seas could swamp almost everything below U.S. 90 by 2067 unless emissions were quickly reduced, he said “Louisiana’s coastal problem has nothing to do with climate change.” His latest war against his Louisiana employers is a lawsuit to remove the “social cost of carbon” from consideration in setting environmental regulations. This is a formula used to assess the long-term societal costs of those emissions from damages including sea level rise, severe weather events, income losses from industrial and agricultural failures and increased medical expenses. Landry calls it “voodoo economics” and warned it was a move by those liberal feds to “takeover of all the industries in this country.”
Surprisingly it is the Supreme Court who turned him down and past republicans would look at him with amazement.
Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court has so far turned down the entreaties by Landry and other officials in GOP-led states to halt the use social cost of carbon Landry’s skepticism would be news to noted conservatives Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia. It was Reagan who introduced cost-benefit analysis into federal pollution regulations in 1981. By putting dollar values on what a regulation might cost industry compared with the higher expenses society incurs due to the pollution, an agency can determine if its benefits outweigh the costs. Conservatives, concerned agencies might overstep their authority, liked the idea. In a 2015 Supreme Court case Scalia opined no regulation “is appropriate if it does significantly more harm than good.” That’s why the administrations of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama used a standing interagency group to determine the social cost of carbon in rule-making.
Then in 2016 the rules changed to only change again in 2020.
But after Donald Trump won in 2016, that metric was placed in a bull’s-eye with most environmental regulations. Unable to kill it, Trump issued an executive order ending the working group and told his agencies to begin “amending” their cost evaluations. Of course, President Joe Biden quickly reversed that order, but ever since Landry has been using taxpayer funding to become the polluters’ hero. He argues any regulation that costs the petrochemical industries profits hurts Louisiana because it is such an economic key to the state. A recent survey found those industries generate about 265,000 jobs. In fact, about 1.4 million Louisianians work in other jobs. Those workers, as well as all 4.6 million residents, already are paying higher living expenses due to climate change caused by the emissions he’s trying to protect. And that’s on top of higher medical costs linked to breathing air ranked among the nation’s most polluted by toxic emissions from some of those industries.
This is political malfeasance
The best description I could find for this kind of public service was in this definition of political malpractice: “a breach of duty … usually resulting in hurting the taxpayers and citizens whom the politician is accountable to.” And they are paying him to do it to them.
Yes, voting is important and look at the candidates and their policies not their party.