Louisiana Republicans Keep Climate Policy Hostage About Abortion

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A woman carries a child through a flooded street in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

A woman carries a boy or girl by way of a flooded avenue in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.
Picture: Matthew Hinton (AP)

In the center of hurricane season, Republicans in Louisiana are blocking funding that would bolster flood safety in New Orleans—all because the metropolis is resisting endeavours to criminalize abortion.

Final 7 days, the Louisiana State Bond Fee voted 7-6 to deny a line of credit history intended to help New Orleans construct infrastructure for drainage pumps that are a very important ingredient of the city’s options to adapt to local weather improve. This is the next time the Commission has voted to deny the line of credit history E&E News claimed both of those denials ended up issued whilst the city was underneath lively flood watches. The vote comes at the urging of Louisiana Legal professional Typical Jeff Landry, who named New Orleans’s resistance to the condition-wide abortion bans “an open up defiance of the will of the people today of Louisiana.”

In early July, New Orleans’s Metropolis Council unanimously passed a resolution that would prohibit the city from utilizing municipal funds to look for out, catalog, or punish persons getting abortions or medical practitioners providing treatment. Louisiana is one particular of 13 states that had a “trigger law”—policies designed to quickly go into impact—in spot ahead of the Supreme Court docket decision overturning Roe v. Wade. One particular of the bans, passed just days ahead of the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Overall health Business conclusion, has no exceptions for rape or incest and mandates punishments for abortion vendors that can include jail sentences of up to 10 many years, with challenging labor, and/or fines wherever from $10,000 to $100,000.

In a letter sent to the Bond Commission in July, Landry questioned the Commission to defer any programs from New Orleans for any varieties of tasks, writing that “a parish or municipality should really not gain from the tricky-performing taxpayers of this State even though disregarding legal guidelines validly enacted by the individuals by their representatives.” At Thursday’s listening to, Landry doubled down, asking New Orleans officials if they have considered rescinding the resolution. “You can not vow and solemnly swear to uphold the laws on a person hand, and on the other, stand up and say, I’m not heading to uphold that 1,” he claimed. At the assembly Thursday, the Bond Commission ordered Louisiana metropolis officers to appear at September’s conference to talk much more about the resolution.

Recurrent flooding in New Orleans is exacerbated by the city’s aging infrastructure. The project the Bond Fee denied the credit history line for would commit $39 million to construct a new electric power plant to electric power pumps to clear away rainwater from the town throughout storms. Quite a few of these pumps are now powered by much more mature devices, like some turbines 1st installed in the 1910s.

“The torrential rains have become considerably a lot more frequent, and flooding that employed to be caused by a tropical storm or a hurricane we are now viewing with just 3 to 4 inches of rain in no time whatsoever,” Paul Rainwater, a lobbyist with the city’s Sewerage and H2o Board, which would oversee the project, told E&E. “When a warning goes out that we have a thunderstorm likely by way of, we could have flash flooding, and in some sections of the town, you could see 2 to 3 feet of drinking water.” (Rainwater explained himself to the Fee in Thursday’s hearing defending the job as “pro-lifetime, Catholic and Republican.”)

Landry, who has been eyeing a run for governor in 2023, has been an outspoken opponent of federal and point out local weather insurance policies, as nicely as a climate science denier. Landry was at the forefront of a problem from a group of Republican lawyers common to challenge the Biden administration’s use of the social cost of carbon, which the Supreme Courtroom rejected in a scarce environmental acquire in late May. He has continuously called the scientific consensus on human-triggered weather transform “a hoax” and claimed that sea levels have not risen at all. He has also shared misinformation around weather alter on Twitter. The oil and gas industry has been 1 of Landry’s top rated campaign contributors according to the campaign finance internet site OpenSecrets, the field has specified more than $850,000 to Landry above the training course of his political job.

Louisiana point out senator Jimmy Harris, a Democrat who represents New Orleans, instructed E&E that the electricity station Landry opposes is “a pro-lifetime venture.”

“This venture is to aid us to where by we never have to drown,” he explained. “Don’t explain to me you adore me but you’re not eager to retain me from drowning. I really don’t want to listen to that from nobody.”

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