We recently learned our state’s attorney general has added Louisiana’s name to the list of 11 other states in a lawsuit against the EPA over the proposed Clean Power Plan. These proposed rules have the potential to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. Carbon pollution is responsible for serious health issues and is a major factor in the cause of sea-level rise, wiping out whole communities along our coast.

Coal is the dirtiest energy polluter, and states like West Virginia have been noisy opponents of the proposal. Louisiana is certainly not coal country, and we generate only about 12 percent of our energy from coal, with the vast majority coming from natural gas. Louisiana’s investor-owned utilities are rolling out new energy efficiency programs in October, and we are in a prime position to utilize renewable energy sources including wind and solar. Since the announcement of the plan, other countries, including China, have begun to discuss their own plans for carbon emissions reductions.

What is most ridiculous about the largely symbolic lawsuit against the EPA is that Louisiana doesn’t need to sue our way out of responsibility and progress. Our elected leaders are fighting against our citizens’ health and security, while energy efficiency measures and renewables are ready and waiting to help us meet the proposed limits. The U.S. cannot keep saying it is a leader, if we do not choose to lead. Louisiana should not continue to say it is an energy state, if we do not lead on energy policy that is good for everyone.

Logan Atkinson

Alliance for Affordable Energy

New Orleans