Louisiana’s Disappearing Coastline

The current population of Louisiana is estimated to be 4.68 million people. In February 2019, state utilities used natural gas (76.0%), coal (11.6%), nuclear (7.8%) and renewable energy (4.6%) to generate electricity. Biomass and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Louisiana.

Louisiana’s reliance on natural gas contributes to their low electricity prices. In February 2019, the average price of residential electricity in the state was 9.2 ¢ per kWh, which is the 3rd cheapest price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh.

Louisiana legislators has not established any renewable energy or greenhouse gas emissions goals. The State Energy Office promotes the efficient use and management of energy in the state. It helps maximize Louisiana’s energy potential by exploring all energy sources and by reducing current energy consumption through education, energy-use studies, and demonstrations of energy-efficient technologies.

Louisiana has been feeling the impact of melting of glaciers around the world from global warming and the subsequent coastal erosion for decades. State legislators have recently developed a plan for coping with the impacts of global warming, including a relocation of infrastructure and communities. The plan, Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE), looks at future flood risks in six coastal parishes and recommends a series of policy changes that could help mitigate those risks.

Louisiana is among the most flood-prone states in the United States. The state has lost nearly 2,000 square miles of land since the 1930s. Climate change will only exacerbate the flood risks across Louisiana. LA SAFE believes the state could more than 4,000 square miles over the next 50 years. The state’s ability to adapt to coastal erosion and rising sea level will determine if coastal communities will be able to survive.

Louisiana, like many coastal regions around the world are on the front lines of global warming and climate change. The melting of the global ice sheets has been extensively documented and is an irrefutable fact. The question is what will the world do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The clock is ticking and Louisiana can measure the devastation every day.

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