Legislation we need and should demand that someone — anyone, somewhere introduce and get passed:
So I thought I would start a list of legislation that regardless of party affiliation or anything else we should support. Basically there could be good things on the horizon for Cenla and Louisiana on the whole. However much of our prospective progress requires a bit of legislative help — either at the state or federal level. In some cases bills have been introduced, but never followed up. So they die and we wait.
Here’s my initial list, please comment, discuss, and add to it all you want:
So Wish 1: Require that ethanol sold in Louisiana be derived from sugar cane in at least the proportion of sugarcane to corn crop planting
It may not be common knowledge but we actually have a successful biodiesel producer operating out of the Port of Alexandria. We can and DO produce this very versatile biofuel right here at home. However, it’s still more expensive to buy than regular petroleum-based diesel. Well, part of the reason that fuel is so expensive is because there are several taxes built into the prices we pay at the pump. Some of these are road taxes and sales taxes, and others are federal taxes. If we want to support our biofuels industry, then we have to give them some sort of an edge. And if we expect consumers to go green, then we need to make sure they have an incentive — particularly the green in their own wallets.
Biofuels are good for the environment, good for the local economy, and good for our future growth in the post-petroleum economy.
Wish 2: State legislation exempting Louisiana-produced Biodiesel from state fuel taxes and road taxes — effectively making it the same price as “farm diesel”. and
Wish 3: Federal legislation to enact a tax deduction or tax credit equal to any federal taxes charged on biodiesel. This would be a reward for going green at the end of the year and would increase the market for local fuels.
2. Sugar Health
One bottle of coke is basically the same as eating an extra lunch. So if you just had tuna and cottage cheese to fit in your summer best but washed it down with a Mountain Dew, you’ve pretty much screwed yourself.
– – – – – – – – –
Now add to the health issues, the fact that yet again Louisiana is a producer of Sugar Cane not Sugar Corn. And believe it or not, many of our farmers are leaving the business because they don’t have anyone to buy their crops. As much sugar as we buy, as many cokes as we drink, we can’t manage to sell our own sugar (perhaps Iowa can loan us some money).
The fact is that bottled beverages are a HUGE business here in Louisiana. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. We all demand it, and people will gladly supply it. This is one industry, however, where we MUST demand some local benefit.
Regulation may not be looked upon favorably by all, but there is no reason when it benefits the health and economy of our state that we should not require that soft drinks produced and or sold in Louisiana be sweetened with Louisiana-produced cane sugar. So…
Wish 4: Pass State legislation requiring that all bottled beverages produced, distributed, or sold within the State of Louisiana be sweetened only with Louisiana Cane Sugar.
This is one where we literally have nothing to lose. Coke won’t pull out of Louisiana, Pepsi won’t go under. In fact this will likely result in new industries and new jobs. It will cost the major corporations very little. And, it means we can all be healthier, happier, and enjoy a real Dr. Pepper.
*note that most drinks are actually locally mixed, canned or bottled, and produced. So this legislation would not require any national change, just local.
Out of niceness, I’ll leave out a rant demanding immediate action on I-14, but for now these are my 4 wishes.