Europe has been grappling with an energy crisis since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of last year. And hardly any country was as reliant on imports from Russia as Germany. Years of ignoring U.S. officials’ advice finally bit them in the butt.
Europe as a whole has scrambled for energy alternatives. The situation has calmed a bit due to some warm weather during the fall and winter seasons. Germany has been busy making up for lost time in trying to cut its reliance on Russian oil and gas. Work on LNG infrastructure has been ongoing, and on Dec. 17, Germany opened the Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal.
On Jan. 3, the first LNG import arrived at the Uniper LNG terminal. And guess where the shipment was from? Venture Global LNG transferred 170,000 cubic meters of the stuff from its Calcasieu Pass terminal to a tanker. The LNG is said to be enough to give energy to 50,000 homes for a whole year.
Venture Global CEO Mike Sabel said, “Venture Global is very proud to supply the first full cargo of LNG ever delivered to Germany, and we congratulate Uniper and the German government for their swift action to build the infrastructure needed to make this historic day possible. As strategic partners, we look forward to providing long-term security of energy supply to our allies through the continued delivery of clean and reliable U.S. LNG.”
I must add a disclaimer to this statement. LNG is a much cleaner fuel than oil but it’s still not 100-percent clean. But apart from splitting hairs, Russia actually gave the U.S. an energy advantage when it started the Ukrainian war. LNG demand from Louisiana and the United States will only lead to the area and country dominating as the largest energy powerhouse in the world. Look forward to seeing more local LNG expansion in the future.
Louisiana Continues Hemorrhaging Residents
Newly released U.S. Census data shows that Louisiana is No. 5 in the nation for population loss, according to numbers, falling behind New York, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. However, when taking into account the percentage of the population lost, Louisiana was tied in second place with Illinois with a 0.8 percent decline from 2021 to 2022. New York was No. 1.
The census data indicates that 67,508 residents left Louisiana between April, 2020, and July, 2022. In fact, the majority of Louisiana’s population loss is due to domestic migration. But, unlike Louisiana, the South as a whole gained 1.3 million people from July, 2021 to July, 2022, to continue the South’s reputation as the most populous region in America. In contrast to the Sportsman’s Paradise, much of the South made gains when it came to population. Texas is enjoying the biggest surge of population in the region; it is known to be receiving many residents who are fleeing California, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina also showed significant growth.
Last year, it was revealed by census data that if you combined the population loss of Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, the number would convert to the largest decrease percentage-wide of all the metro areas across the country. 2021’s census figures show a 5.3-percent population drop from the previous year’s figures.
Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Louisiana is losing so many residents in such a short amount of time. It started with the COVID-19 pandemic. There was naturally some moving around due to fewer employment opportunities in Louisiana than in other states in the event that people lost their jobs. The biggest reason for the population shift is Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Ida. SWLA was so damaged and hurricane weary that those who had nothing further to lose hightailed it out of the state. In addition, Lake Charles in particular suffered a severe housing crunch, so those who had found work and shelter elsewhere stayed elsewhere. Hurricane Ida was similar to Hurricane Laura in intensity, which would’ve lead to a similar population shift in the eastern part of the state. Louisiana does feel like it has a bullseye on it ever since 2005.
SWLA had been on a growth streak before the disasters of 2020, due to the many industrial projects which had been ongoing. There was a lull in new projects, but then 2020 put potential plans on a further hold. When exactly some of these new industrial projects will get underway is still to be seen.
However, Louisiana as a whole has other issues that might cause residents to wander to other states. Just think about the fact that the state minimum wage is still just a meager $7.25 in 2023. NOBODY can live on that. The disparity is even more apparent after inflation. Unless a person works with industry or a medical facility, the state does not have a lot of high-paying job opportunities. Add Louisiana’s high crime rate and low standard of living and residents can find many a reason to flee. Louisiana is going to have to do some soul searching and implement plans to make Louisiana more attractive to current and future residents in order to put the brakes on the population slide.
Slidell’s Annual Mardi Gras Tradition
Louisiana is known for its large urban Mardi Gras celebrations and its rural rituals, such as annual chicken runs. One unique celebration you probably haven’t heard of takes place in Slidell. A Mardi Gras parade is put on in Walmart by Walmart employees for small children and children with disabilities.
In 2017, Clint Sampson, Slidell Walmart Supercenter manager, said, “a lot of these children, it’s the only parade they can go to and so we offer a safe environment for ‘em. We’re able to go out. We don’t throw the beads at ‘em. We’re actually placing the beads in their hands. It’s just tremendous to do this.”
An annual event, the parade includes makeshift floats made with palettes and other equipment. People stream down the parade route with buggies filled with beads and Mardi Gras tokens. Some participants are in Mardi Gras regalia, complete with crowns. And you have the usual waving to the crown and bopping to the music, which in the past has been performed by the Northshore High School band. Kids might even spot a dinosaur handing out beads, the Borden cow dancing or an Easter bunny shaking its tail.
Lafayette Woman Was Determined To Get Married — In Sickness Or In Health
What would you do if you woke up on the morning of your wedding day and were horribly ill? One Lafayette woman went to the ER twice on hers in an effort to make sure she could walk down the aisle on her big day.
In a story that’s since gone viral on TikTok, Hannah Bush woke up on her wedding day feeling like she needed to vomit. At first things were OK, but then she couldn’t keep any food or liquid down, so she visited the ER for the first time at 10 am. She received care and returned home at noon when she started getting her makeup and hair done.
However, she got violently ill again. Bush said she told her mom “there’s no way I could physically walk down the aisle.” So Bush headed back to the ER. She received an IV and anti-nausea medication. Her husband-to-be, Nick, met her at the hospital and calmed her down; the hair and makeup crew fixed Bush up at the hospital; and then it was time for the wedding, which she was late to… by 15 minutes.
Bush said it was important to her to keep her wedding date and not postpone it because “we spent the whole year planning this. I’m getting married in the church that I want to get married in because my grandparents got married there. And then the priest that was marrying us married my parents. So, I really wanted to have that special moment.”
Bush walked down the aisle barefoot. “I hadn’t even seen myself and my dress, hadn’t seen my hair, my makeup, nothing. My sister-in-laws were fixing my hair. … Oh my gosh, it was so chaotic.”
Bush rested for an hour at the reception, but all’s well that ends well. She was able to cut the cake and have the first dance with her husband. While the events of the day weren’t ideal, they certainly created quite the memory for the bride and groom.