8.22.2009

Curious Comments from Joseph Cao

New Orleans Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao made some curious comments recently about a business looking to establish itself in his district - especially curious, I must say, even for a moderate/unorthodox Republican:

"Through my research, plasma gasification is not an economically viable project because of the cost of the construction and the amount of energy the plant would consume," Cao said.

It's great to know that Cao did his homework, but isn't it the place of a private business to take and bear those risks?  

"We cannot support a project whose business plan is suspect, whose technology has not been fully tested, and whose intent is simply to make a profit on the backs of New Orleans residents," Cao said.

Cao's statements sound strangely like the decision of an abbot declaring that the monastery will not pursue the erection of a dairy on the grounds.  

I understand that Cao probably wants to placate some district residents afraid that the Sun Energy plant - which seeks to convert garbage into some amount of usable energy - would hurt local property values.  But the objections stated by a politician usually tie back to something understandable - like potential property value reduction, excessive increased traffic, or the like.  Opposing a business because it is taking competitive risks in pursuing technological solutions to reduce garbage, recycle, and generate power seems rather odd.  

Finally, I think opposition to siting the business in the Regional Business Park - near where I-10 crosses the Industrial Canal, where a good number of businesses departed from after Katrina - is rather silly.  The spot seems like one of the better possible locations for the enterprise in the city:
It would be nice to hear more from Cao on precisely how he came to his conclusions.