Steve Scalise is Not Thinking About His District | The Times-Picayune

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The West Closure Complex in Belle Chasse is seen during a flyover of coastal Louisiana on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Brett Duke, | The Times-Picayune)

There’s a big mistake on Congressman Steve Scalise’s webpage.

Right under his name it reads: “Proudly Representing the 1st District of Louisiana.”

But that can’t possibly be true because, two weeks ago, Scalise helped write and push through the House a resolution opposing any type of carbon tax. He said such a program “would be detrimental to American families and businesses and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

Well, that’s debatable. What isn’t in question is that a carbon tax is essential to the welfare of families and businesses in the coastal parishes and state he is getting paid to represent.

That’s not just my opinion. It’s the consensus of his state’s scientists – as well as its GOP-dominated Legislature.

Here’s why.

Carbon emissions are proven to be the main driver behind the acceleration of sea level rise which — in combination with the rapid sinking of the state’s lower third – is expected to put as much as 5 feet of the Gulf of Mexico over everything south of U.S. 90 outside of levees before the end of this century.

By now everyone knows these scientific facts: The oceans have been absorbing the rising human-caused heat in the atmosphere for almost 200 years, and water expands when it is heated resulting in high sea levels. Meanwhile, water stored as ice on land is melting and flowing into those already rising oceans, pushing them higher even faster.

The world’s scientists have concluded the only way to slow that rise (we can’t stop it entirely) is to cut emissions dramatically. And the best way to do that is to make everyone who puts carbon into the air pay for their role in aggravating the problem. Some call it a tax; others say its “carbon pricing.”

This type of market-based solution has been proven to work with other societal problems; cigarette smoking, acid rain, insurance premiums. It also helps spur investment in innovation because people like to save money. More than 100 countries and three U.S. states (California, Oregon and Washington) already have programs underway or under development.

Over the past 15 years, Louisiana has become a leader in climate science and adaption because the sediment-starved, canal-eviscerated deltas that compose our bottom third are sinking at the same time the sea is rising. The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration says those factors likely will cause 5 feet of sea level rise across the area before 2100 – and this area has an average elevation of just 2.5 feet.

Indeed, the state’s own Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority last year said the key to any future most communities and industry south of Interstate 10 can have over the next 50 years depends largely on cutting emissions.

If the Paris climate agreements work and emissions are dramatically cut over the next 30 years or so we will lose “only” an additional 1,200 square miles, the agency found. If emissions are not cut, we’ll likely lose another 2,800 square miles. The GOP-led Legislature was impressed enough by the science to give its unanimous approval.

Read the rest of the article at The Times-Picayune.