While the Alliance for Affordable Energy supports a considered and comprehensive approach to our climate crisis, the work of this task force must be based on sound data and evidence if we are to meet the goal of net zero emissions by year 2050.
The sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Louisiana are clear, and industry is the primary polluter. I have heard a lot of discussion this morning about whether or not Louisiana can afford to refuse the permitting and construction of new industrial facilities. This task force should asking the opposite question: Can we afford to proceed as we have been?
The creation of this task force represents an opportunity to begin the difficult but necessary work of reversing decades of ecological destruction, but it must be guided by commitments to honest accounting, economic and racial equity, indigenous sovereignty, and a radical change in our relationship with the land and waters.
Check out the full comments made by our New Orleans Policy Director, Jesse George.
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell urges state to respond to climate change. Louisiana is now recognizing that it is vulnerable to rising seas and damaging storms.
We are an energy state, not just an oil and gas state. We have a task force studying climate change and promoting offshore wind. Our coastal industries are helping to build a wind-power sector. Utilities are investing in renewables.
We can fight climate change, develop new industries and jobs, and watch our state prosper. It is not too late.
City Council races must tackle issue of regulating Entergy By Monique Harden, Jesse George & Brent Newman
Article by Monique Harden, Jesse George & Brent Newman
Originally Published on The Lens
July 22, 2021
Too often, candidates seeking the office of City Council do not talk about the extraordinary power of regulating Entergy, our city’s electric power utility. No other elected city government in the United States has the power of our City Council to regulate an investor-owned utility company.
According to data kept by the US Department of Energy, more than half of New Orleans residents pay a high energy cost burden that’s as much as 28 percent of monthly income.
In the upcoming year, councilmembers will choose whether to address a broad set of energy needs. The next slate of elected council members will have to tackle critical issues on Entergy’s costs and services as well as opportunities for more residents to benefit from renewable energy and electrification.
The New Orleans City Council has an extraordinary power -- the regulation of Entergy as an investor-owned utility company. Though the Council has a designated Utility, Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee (“UCTTC”) consisting of five members, major regulatory decisions are brought to the full Council for voting. Thus, all New Orleans City Council members are both legislators and regulators of a major electric and gas utility.
For years, the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition has advocated for strong regulatory oversight of Entergy in order to lower costs to ratepayers, increase the reliability of electric service in New Orleans, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are the cause of the changing climate threatening the future of our city.
We have prepared this simple informational sheet to highlight some of the regulatory issues currently pending before the Council:
Calls for New Rules Limiting The Council's Ability to Accept Campaign Contributions from the Utilities They Regulate
By Jesse George, New Orleans Policy Director, AAE
On June 25, 2021, the Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition sent a letter addressed to the New Orleans Ethics Review Board and copied to the entire City Council, calling for an amendment to the Code of Ethics prohibiting City Council candidates and incumbents from accepting campaign contributions from Entergy, the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, and other regulated utilities, as well as from their executives and political action committees. The letter further calls for a ban on campaign contributions from persons or firms that contract to provide services to the Council, such as the Council’s utility advisors. Finally, the letter calls for disclosure by candidates seeking the office of City Council of any financial or other compensation received from regulated entities or contractors within the past five years, or any board service rendered to the same at any time.
By Jesse George, New Orleans Policy Director
These comments were given at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources hearing concerning LDNR Class IV-Well Primacy Application to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Louisiana is a tragic case. Our state is addicted to fossil fuels, and like many addicts, instead of seeking to break our addiction, we seek ways to become functional addicts. The pipedream of carbon capture and sequestration is a prime example of this.
By Emily Sandstrom, AAE Intern
In June the Alliance gave public comment to the Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force (CITF) following a presentation on some hypothetical pathways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Louisiana.
If all permitted and permit pending facilities in Louisiana listed are built, it would add 125 Million Metric Tons Per Year CO2e.
*CO2e = Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, which includes emissions from other greenhouse gasses like methane, weighted according to their impact.
The CF Industries fertilizer plant in Donaldsonville, pictured here, is currently Louisiana’s largest emitter of CO2e. Photo credit.
Exxon Mobil claims that it supports the goals in the Paris climate agreement and is committed to addressing climate change. However, Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy was caught on video describing the company's efforts to undermine President Biden's climate and infrastructure proposals.