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Transition from oil, gas to renewable energy sources to majorly impact Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE - Petrochemical researchers in Baton Rouge say President-Elect Joe Biden's plan to transition away from gas and oil to more renewable green energy will have an impact on Louisiana.

"The initial announcement seems to be pretty challenging for the state", Dr. David Dismukes said.

Dismukes is the Executive Director of LSU's Center for Energy Studies. He says the petrochemical industry makes up half the state's economy.

"That transition as into other fossil industries has been pretty quick, especially if you are looking at the coal industry, and if you look at a transition like here in Louisiana for oil and gas, it's going to have a pretty big impact on our economy," Dr. Dismukes said.

Dr. Dismukes doesn't see refineries shutting down like the Shell Plant in Convent because major oil companies are already moving toward more clean green fuels, but he says the energy transition will also affect students at LSU majoring in petroleum engineering.

"At first I was shocked. It got into my mind because I'm a 4th-year senior," LSU student Zaid Ali said.

Ali is about to graduate with a degree in petroleum engineering,
a degree that's costing him $70,000.

"We might have to go work overseas. We'll take our expertise overseas if nobody here wants it here" Ali said.

But Dr. Dismukes says transitioning to more renewable energy sources will benefit other engineering majors.

"There will be opportunities for mechanical and particularly electrical engineers in a future that becomes increasingly more electric," Dr. Dismukes said.

Moving from oil and gas to renewable energy will reduce the need for petroleum and increase the need for energy that can be reused.


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