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Awesome cyclone power; hats off to BP; Angelle panders to oil interests; while SLFPA-E fights them

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Momma nature packs a mean punch

Momma nature packs a mean punch

by Len Bahr, Ph.D.

Cyclone devastation

The above images capture the power of Cyclone Pam that struck the Pacific Ocean island archipelago of Vanuastu in the Shefa Province. An article by Sam Bolitho includes these amazing photos taken by William Dyer, an Australian pilot before and after the March 13-14 storm. Note that this wasn’t defoliation; it was apparently deforestation.

BP breaks with ALEC!

For all the bad that this giant oil company did leading up to the worst oil pollution incident in history, BP deserves credit for severing its ties with the controversial conservative consortium of corporations and state legislators called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)…over the issue of climate change. David McCabe reported on this important event in TheHill.com. Here are some quotes from McCabe’s piece:

…Its approach on climate change has garnered attention in the last year. Though the group (ALEC) does not deny climate change outright, some say its model bills suggest the group is uncertain about whether human actions have had a hand in changing the climate.

That position caused several technology companies to leave ALEC last year, starting with Google — which severed ties with the group in September after its chairman accused ALEC of “just literally lying” about climate change. Occidental Petroleum, an oil and natural gas company, also cut ties with the group around that time.

ALEC has long held incredible sway with our state legislature and governor, including presumably their decision to not participate in the Affordable Care Act, leaving at least 240,000 Louisianians without health insurance, as well as closing the emergency room at Baton Rouge Hospital’s mid city location. Jindal’s rationale was that signing onto ACA would make our poor folks too dependent on the federal government! Mitt Romney himself couldn’t have said it more succinctly, with or without coaching by ALEC.

PSC Commissioner Scott Angelle tries to prove his oil and gas creds 

I note with interest that in his early TV ads, public service commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Angelle is touting his opposition to President Obama’s temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf following the BP blowout. Mr. Angelle, my former colleague in state service, surely won’t be the only candidate for governor to shill for big oil, but as former DNR secretary he’s in the best position to understand Louisiana’s coastal crises and the damage done during the process of coastal energy production. I’m curious to know specifically how the temporary drilling moratorium hurt the state. As a matter of fact, opposing the feds on the moratorium hurt the coast much more than any temporary jobs lost…none of which have ever been documented.

Levee board lawsuit

Read this letter to the editor by Rick Luettich published in the Advocate. Luettich is one of the stalwart members of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East who Bobby Jindal has so far been unable to replace. This passionate letter writer had to travel all the way from Morehead City, North Carolina when the SLFPA-E called its last meeting to specifically to vote on whether or not to appeal the dismissal of the lawsuit brought against a large number of oil and gas companies, sacred cows in Louisiana. Five out of nine board members hung tough and supported appealing the decision to the Fifth Circuit. These coastal heroes are Stephen Estopinal, Paul Kemp, Rick Luettich, Wilton Tilly and Louis Wittie.

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