Today, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) announced that she is the previously unnamed Democrat joining Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in her campaign to prevent Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gas pollution. Because she “believes the Clean Air Act is not meant to be applied to carbon dioxide emissions,” Landrieu is collaborating to craft what environmentalists are calling the Dirty Air Act:
“I am considering that right now,” Landrieu said when asked whether she backed Murkowski’s plan. “I have been working with her on it.”
Landrieu, like Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal and Senator David Vitter, has pledged allegiance to the pollution interests who have given her over $1.5 million instead of her own people. Last month, Jindal “filed objections with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson” over the proposed climate rules, claiming the standards would have “profound negative economic impacts on the state of Louisiana.” In September, Vitter submitted an amendment to block funding for centers that study and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Landrieu’s actions are quite simply morally indefensible. The Mississippi Delta is under extraordinary threat from global warming, as seas rise and storms intensify. According to a recent analysis published in Nature, “an additional 2 degrees of global warming” — to which our business as usual commits the planet — would cause “6 to 9 meters (20 to 30 feet) of long-term sea level rise,” which would “permanently submerge New Orleans and other parts of southern Louisiana.”
This is not just a future threat. Climate change significantly intensified Hurricane Katrina, which cost this nation $80 billion, killed thousands, and displaced a million people. As hurricane scientist Kerry Emanuel has explained, “Probably if Hurricane Katrina had happened in 1980, the levees would have held.”
Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.