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Gov. Edwards Heads To D.C. To Lobby For Oil And Gas

Gov. John Bel Edwards at the statehouse in Baton Rouge. The Democratic Governors Association spent more than $8 million helping reelect him last fall.
Wallis Watkins
Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at the statehouse in Baton Rouge.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is in Washington, D.C., this week to testify on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is holding a hearing on off-shore energy development Thursday morning. Edwards is one of the witnesses scheduled to speak before the committee.

One of the first things President Joe Biden did when he took office was institute a ban on all new oil and gas lease sales. Edwards has spoken out against the ban, saying it will negatively impact Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.

“An abrupt and prolonged major reduction to federal offshore oil and gas exploration and production would devastate Louisiana’s economy,” Edwards said in a press release Tuesday.

At the same time, the democratic governor has joined a handful of other states in committing to ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals. Last fall he launched a climate task force to chart a path for how the state might achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Oil and gas industry advocates have said a transition to cleaner energy sources is inevitable, but argue that the transition should be gradual. They have lobbied for reducing point-source pollution at refineries through the use of various emissions reductions technologies, rather than reducing overall production of oil and gas.

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Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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