Landrieu’s concerns: Energy and Elections

By Derek Albert

St. Martinville – U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, spoke about two big “E’s” in current national politics — energy and elections.

Landrieu addressed a capacity crowd at La Maison Restaurant to inform the public of a new bipartisan energy proposal that she and nine other U.S. legislators have coalesced to create a new energy program for the U.S.

“We don’t like paying $4 a gallon gasoline,” Landrieu complained. “We don’t like seeing our people go out of business. I do not like our senior citizens having to give up a lot because they have to pay high fuel bills. I got tired of both parties fussing about it.”

The energy proposal encourages increasing production from existing wells in the U.S.; production of coal-to-liquid fuel plants; nuclear energy use; and among other options, an increase in production and use of alternative fuel vehicles.

Although Landrieu said the country needs to decrease oil demands from foreign countries, she added, “We need to look at future fuels as well.

“Communities in this state are a platform for the oil and gas industry and could serve in an alternative energy industry.”

In combination with state legislation passed in 2006 and the recently approved Farm Bill, ethanol and biofuel production throughout the country should increase — hopefully using feed stocks such as Louisiana-grown sugarcane.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D- Napoleonville, who is unopposed for the 3rd Congressional District seat, touted her efforts for the new energy legislation.

“They put a package together and put in those things that some couldn’t live with, some couldn’t live without,” Melancon said. “They came up with an energy bill that I believe will have an opportunity to set a new energy policy in this country that has been lacking for at least the last 10 years.”

Upcoming Election

Landrieu took the opportunity to ask the throng, that included the St. Martin Parish Democratic Executive Committee (SMPDEC) and several local dignitaries, for their support in the Nov. 4 national elections.

The incumbent senator is being challenged by state Treasurer John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, for a possible third term on Capitol Hill.

In the 2002 mid-term elections, Louisiana Republicans ran several candidates against Landrieu, which forced a runoff between Landrieu and challenger Suzanne Haik Terrel. Landrieu won the election by a narrow four percent.

The SMPDEC has already endorsed Landrieu for the senatorial election.

“Some people may discount this endorsement, said committee chair Melba Braud. “But our committee is committed to helping elect Democrats locally and nationally.”

Braud said the organization will also continue its voter registration drive during the next few weeks.

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