Louisiana voters see politicians as roadblock to renewable energy shift

Southern Energy Conference

Despite generally liking renewable energy, the majority of Louisiana voters oppose efforts to shift the state away from oil and gas, according to a survey released earlier this year by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, report Louisiana Illuminator.

That opposition is mostly rooted in respondents’ beliefs that the state’s economy is too reliant on oil and gas to make a drastic pivot to renewable energy initiatives, such as wind and solar power, and they see their elected officials as a major roadblock to that happening anytime soon.

“The politicians have sold their souls to the oil companies, and they’ll fight efforts to diversify [the state’s economy],” a Black male registered voter, who identified as an independent, said during focus group meetings related to the GNOHA survey.

Some of the key findings from the survey of 1,551 people throughout the state, the results of which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%, showed about half of those surveyed, or about 49%, oppose renewables while 44% support them. The opposition is primarily driven by conservative Republicans and older white voters, according to the survey.

That split is not reflected, however, in the state’s delegation. Of the eight leaders representing the state in Congress, only House Rep. Troy Carter, a New Orleans Democrat representing the state’s 2nd Congressional District, voted in favor of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.