Oct. 13, 2016 11:16 AM

The top Democrats in the U.S. Senate race know one thing: Only one of them, if lucky, will get into a runoff with which ever Republican tops the field (and then probably lose to that Republican in the runoff, this being deeply red Louisiana). So it’s little surprise that attorney Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell have been more intent on knocking the other down than going after the GOP candidates with whom they have genuine ideological differences.

The latest in this internecine primary clash erupted, expectedly, Thursday, the day after Fayard released what she dubbed her “plan to fight climate change and coastal erosion throughout Louisiana.” The plan has its praiseworthy aspects, especially on the coastal erosion side, although if offers no new ideas. On fighting climate change, however, it’s just what one would expect from a Louisiana politician: promote Louisiana natural gas, make passing mention to renewables, promote Louisiana natural gas.

But Fayard’s plan comes a month after she offered the trite, evasive “I’m not a scientist” responses at a forum when asked whether she believed climate change was driven by human activity. At that same forum, Campbell was the only candidate to say he believed climate change is caused by our reliance on fossil fuels.

To her credit, Fayard uses the term “anthropogenic climate change” in the introduction to her plan in Wednesday’s press release. But the contrast between September’s “I’m not a scientist” and Wednesday’s climate change “plan” was a shiny bauble Campbell couldn’t resist. (We couldn’t resist on Wednesday.)

“After several public statements in which Caroline Fayard agreed with republicans [sic] and denied that climate change is man made, Fayard has suddenly reversed course in an attempt to revive her struggling campaign,” the Campbell campaign notes in a Thursday press release with the subject line, “Caroline Fayard Falsifies Position On Climate Change.”

“‘Anthropogenic,’ meaning ‘originating from human activity,’ would imply agreement with the scientific based evidence that climate change is indeed man made,” the hyphen-averse press release continues. “Just weeks ago, however, Fayard denied that climate change was caused by human activity...”

“In September you deny the problem, in October when your poll numbers are down you admit it? That’s not the kind of leadership I think people want from a U.S. Senator,” Campbell is quoted in release.


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