- Associated Press - Friday, October 14, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. Senate candidate Foster Campbell is slamming fellow Democratic contender Caroline Fayard for fundraising off the idea of man-made climate change after she previously sidestepped a direct link between human activity and the planet’s warming.

Fayard, a New Orleans lawyer, released a policy document this week that outlines positions for combating climate change and coastal erosion.

In the release, Fayard described “anthropogenic” climate change - a term that means caused by human activity - as the top challenge facing Louisiana’s future. Her campaign touted the plan in an email soliciting donations.

But at a recent forum about coastal issues, Fayard wouldn’t directly link the planet’s warming to man’s actions, while Campbell said there was no question humans caused climate change. Fayard’s also shied away from a clear link in interviews.

Asked about the issue Friday, Fayard was a bit more direct, though still measured.

“As humans, we have to respect the environment, and we have impact on the environment and we have impact on the changing climate. When you get into the percentages game, that’s not a game that’s functional and fruitful for the people of Louisiana,” she said.

She then talked more broadly about her proposals to try to gain additional federal funding to help repair Louisiana’s eroding coastline and the long-term sustainability of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Campbell, who has the backing of environmental group the Sierra Club, has been vocal in describing climate change as man-made.

“In September you deny the problem; in October when your poll numbers are down you admit it? That’s not the kind of leadership I think people want from a U.S. senator,” he said in a statement.

Fayard hit back by saying that while Campbell touts environmental issues, he’s done nothing to help remedy a water problem in the north Louisiana district he represents on the Public Service Commission, which oversees publicly owned utilities.

Mr. Campbell’s trying very hard to drive the debate to only what he wants to talk about and not about what his liabilities are as a candidate,” she said.

The major Republican candidates in Louisiana’s Senate race don’t connect global warming to man’s actions, with some suggesting there’s still debate on the issue and others simply dodging the discussion.

Twenty-four candidates are vying for the Senate seat on the Nov. 8 ballot. As the top two Democratic contenders, Fayard and Campbell have repeatedly clashed in recent weeks. The Senate seat is open because Republican David Vitter isn’t running for re-election.


Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at https://twitter.com/melindadeslatte

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