Donald Trump took a trip to my hometown Tuesday to hail an enormous liquefied natural gas facility on the Calcasieu River south of Lake Charles, La. A lot of hot air accompanied him.

I took note, as others did, of his derogatory remarks about renewable energy. Louisiana is eroding into the Gulf of Mexico thanks to the petrochemical industry’s degradation of coastal wetlands. Better still, he was appearing at a facility of Sempra Energy, which had made a huge investment in renewable energy, wind-generated particularly. It’s true they just sold those assets last month, but, get this: They were sold to American Electric Power, once the country’s biggest coal burner. AEP is moving as rapidly as it can to a more sustainable path in energy production.

A popular local note was Trump’s bloviation that he’d deliver Lake Charles a new Interstate 10 bridge over the Calcasieu River if he’s re-elected. Talk is cheap. This bridge isn’t. The local chamber of commerce recently estimated it would cost a half-billion dollars. If the Arkansas Department of Transportation experience on the I-30 bridge replacement in Little Rock is a guide, the actual figure is more like a billion.


Personal note: The sight of that bridge always gives me a shiver. I once drove across it on a tractor, at roughly 10 MPH, traffic whizzing by at 60 MPH and faster. Long story short: I was a stupid teenager working one summer for a billboard company. The snake-filled ditches where we cut weeds were far safer by comparison.