With Louisiana jobs declining due to increasing automation in the oil sector, it’s exciting to hear about U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s introduction of bipartisan legislation to boost renewable offshore wind energy. Louisiana could potentially generate 60 percent of its energy needs with offshore wind turbines, and imagine the boost to local workers and companies that already have the skills and infrastructure to build these energy platforms, not just in the Gulf, but potentially across America’s offshore territories. These offshore wind farms might even be able to utilize existing, defunct oil platforms that could be transformed into renewable energy producers.
The Advocate’s recent article on Entergy Louisiana winning the right to buy solar power from a new solar power plant to be built in West Baton Rouge Parish, mentioned that the plant was to be constructed by an Arizona-based company. Wouldn’t it be great if Louisiana could become a leader in the manufacture and construction of solar power, as well as wind? Not all of our communities are close enough to the coast to be part of the offshore renewable energy industry, but manufacturing and installation of other renewable energy technologies could provide jobs and transform companies in many inland parishes. There’s no reason why our citizens should be left out, other than lack of investment.
Fortunately, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763, is bipartisan legislation designed to encourage American innovation and technology, reduce carbon emissions, benefit the American economy and health, and create 2.1 million new jobs by putting a reasonable price on carbon. This fee on carbon would be returned directly to American households, so that low- and middle-income families will not be adversely impacted by any increase in the cost of fossil fuel energy, and renewable energy sources will become more desirable and affordable. I hope that others will join me in encouraging our representatives to support this legislation.
Major energy companies will invest more heavily in renewable energy technologies, providing the economic investment needed to transform our jobs and economy from fossil-fuel dependent to sustainable renewable energy, and Louisiana’s skilled workers and manufacturing economy can transform right along with them. After all, are we not the most resilient, adaptable state? Whatever challenges our community faces, we always find the strength and courage to face the future, together. Thank you for informing and promoting Acadiana, and guiding us to a better tomorrow.