Louisiana is an energy leader. We are poised to lead the way in developing clean-energy technology.
Louisiana has deep and lasting ties to the oil and gas industry, which has brought many jobs to Louisiana and placed our state as the epicenter of energy production and petroleum refining. Unfortunately, technology and automation are driving down employment in the oil and gas industry at the same time as the world market is changing. More and more corporations are adopting sustainability goals which demand renewable energy sources. The price of wind turbines and solar panels has plummeted, making renewables the next big thing in energy.
Louisiana is in a position to adapt and thrive. With all the energy professionals and fabricators in south Louisiana, we should be leading the way in developing new methods of clean-energy technology. We already have fabrication companies in Louisiana which have helped construct steel foundations for offshore wind turbines in Rhode Island and the vessels that support them.
Through further innovation and diversification, we can make sure our kids and grandkids don’t have to leave the state to find jobs. It is not a question of either fossil fuels or clean energy. We should have both.
We also need companies to be responsible partners. We help the industry, and we expect the industry to help us. Corporations which have profited so greatly from Louisiana’s mineral resources should pay their fair share of taxes, help restore Louisiana’s coast to the extent their operations have damaged it, and help protect us from further losses.
The United States should rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and cooperate with other world leaders to address climate change. We are borrowing the planet from our children and grandchildren, and we have a responsibility to be good stewards.
Louisiana is on the front lines of a global transformation. What we learn and how we manage water resources and energy innovation has the potential to be a model for the rest of the world. There is opportunity for Louisiana in this challenge, and we should embrace it.