Leslie Alexander writes a well-composed letter, as evidenced in her Indbox letter “Landrieu’s an empty suit” (Aug. 14). That the letter contains distortions and misrepresentations might be overlooked, since composition receives good marks. Curious about the letter writer, the Leslie Alexander Communications Web site states Alexander was “a Correspondence Analyst in the Executive Office of the president” and “is a veteran of many political campaigns in which her writing, research and analysis played a key role.” I’ll assume that the president is George Bush, and the candidates were all Republicans.

Alexander would have us believe that Landrieu opposes a strong domestic energy production program. This is far from the truth. Alexander writes that voters will “forget that [Landrieu] voted against the development of oil shale as part of domestic exploration while the nation is desperate for fuel.” Alexander is desperate for a substantive critique of Landrieu’s energy policies, so she supplies a red-herring, implying that Landrieu’s prudent vote is undermining fuel supplies. The implication is nonsense.

Production of oil from shale rock in the Rocky Mountain west is currently experimental and is far from a panacea. It may prove to be Pandora’s box. Oil production from shale takes extreme heating, requiring more power plants and consumption of enormous amounts of water, in an arid region already facing water shortages and air quality issues. Bush’s proposed lease sale smacked of an unthinking rush to exploitation and profit-taking, with no thoughts to consequences, echoing the utter lack of planning for the occupation of Iraq and the glaring incompetence of the Hurricane Katrina response. Sen. Landrieu opposed this specific Bush proposal for good reasons. See Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar’s letter in the The Washington Post, July 15, for a complete critique of the Bush oil shale-lease fire sale policy.

The truth is that Landrieu is a consistent champion of Louisiana and Gulf Coast oil and gas production. Each and every one of Alexander’s criticisms of Landrieu in the Indbox letter is a misrepresentation in a style similar to her oil shale misrepresentation. On Aug. 14, the Baton Rouge Advocate also published a letter from Alexander, criticizing Landrieu. Again, the letter was well-composed, but as vacant as an empty suit. I wonder if Alexander is on the pay roll of the Kennedy-for-Senate campaign, or if her letter writing campaign is pro-bono work?

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