Today the full New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to adopt R-21-182, establishing a Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard (RCPS) for the city of New Orleans.
After over two years of work on a policy to get polluting and fossil fuels out of New Orleans’ energy mix, thanks to petitions, symposia, community meetings, online town halls, and your input, the New Orleans Council has voted to approve the first Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard in the Gulf South. Today New Orleans joined the now 32 states and three US territories that have established renewable energy mandates.
This policy is a crucial step in the race to solve climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions for New Orleans to zero and transition energy to the lower cost resources. This policy prioritizes local solar and efficiency first.
The RCPS is a legal mandate that requires that, by 2040, all of the electricity Entergy supplies to New Orleans comes from energy sources that do not add to the climate crisis, with up to 10% offsets allowed. By 2050 Entergy must entirely eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
The City Council’s RCPS moves us in the right direction, but we didn’t get everything we asked for. This RCPS does include nuclear energy from Entergy’s poorly run and expensive Grand Gulf plant. Nuclear energy is not renewable and creates hazardous radioactive waste. We were successful in removing some false solutions like carbon capture and other offsets from the policy and we will continue to advocate for more local, resilient, and affordable energy in the Integrated Resource Plan and other venues.
Thanks to you, the adoption of the RCPS is a win for New Orleans and Louisiana!
Big shouts out to the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition, including 350 New Orleans, Audubon, Climate Reality NOLA, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, Justice and Beyond, Sunrise New Orleans, Sierra Club, PosiGen, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Vote Solar. You can’t go this far without going together.