Energy Secretary Encourages Community Participation in Equitable Energy Investments

May 25, 2022
NEW ORLEANS – The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and the Alliance for Affordable Energy sent a letter urging Governor Edwards to establish an energy plan to make Louisiana competitive for the billions of dollars available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law administered by the Department of Energy. Their letter follows a historic meeting in New Orleans in which the US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with community, environmental justice, and energy consumer advocates yesterday. She encouraged them to participate in decisions on equitable energy investments. Currently, the DOE reports that $62 billion in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are now available for energy projects.

Inaction on an energy plan for Louisiana limits opportunities to fund projects that can save lives during power outages by innovating the electric grid, as well as support the transition to an equitable renewable energy economy.

In their letter, the groups urge Governor Edwards to develop a state energy plan with public participation and focus on communities who are harmed by oil and gas industries, have yet to recover from past hurricanes, struggle to pay electric and gas bills, and are disconnected from efficient and renewable energy.

The text of the letter follows.

Dear Governor Edwards:

We respectfully urge you to take action on establishing an energy plan for Louisiana. As you know, without this plan, Louisiana is less competitive for the billions of dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are awarded by the US Department of Energy. We recommend a plan that prioritizes investments in Louisiana communities harmed by oil and gas industries and a transition to an equitable and renewable energy economy that creates opportunities for workers.

Louisiana residents have been failed by a poorly maintained energy grid with extended power outages that have resulted in deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and excessive heat. Fenceline communities are exposed to toxic air from oil refineries, gas production facilities, abandoned wells, and oil waste disposal. Families struggle to pay electric and gas bills with soaring fuel charges. Many homes in Louisiana are in need of weatherization to use energy efficiently. The climate crisis we face is fueled by energy we must transition away from in order to sustain our future. After decades of denying climate change, the oil and gas industry is seeking to expand in the state with unproven and highly risky technology called carbon capture and storage. We need an energy plan for Louisiana that provides real solutions.

Solar power with battery storage, wind energy, and energy efficiency can clean our air, keep the power on, create new jobs for Louisiana, and help us to meet the climate goal. A plan focused on strategies for achieving these solutions is urgently needed to improve our environment and economy.

We offer our support to assist your office in developing an energy plan that is centered on equity. We strongly recommend meaningful and effective engagement with communities across the state to provide input in developing this plan.

We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your staff to get to work on an equitable energy plan for Louisiana.


Beverly Wright, Executive Director
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

Logan Burke, Executive Director
Alliance for Affordable Energy

Logan Burke
Alliance for Affordable Energy

Ginger LeBlanc
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
‪(504) 298-9878‬