The 163-mile Bayou Bridge Pipeline terminus in St. James will begin in Lake Charles.

The Louisiana Appeals Court recently ruled that the state’s Department of Natural Resources appropriately issued permits for the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The verdict, predictably, troubled anti-development activists. It shouldn’t have.

The ruling confirms the state Department of Natural Resources did its due diligence and was thorough, transparent and predictable in its environmental permitting review — thus, its approval from other agencies including the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These regulators review an assortment of issues and concerns and are attuned to consider every what-if scenario possible.

At a revival-style rally in St. James Parish, call goes up to resist industrialization

By allowing this project to continue, energy will be transported to local refineries via the safest way known to humans — pipelines — to meet the growing energy needs of cash-strapped businesses and families. That includes lower-income households whose unnecessarily high energy costs would decrease if this project and other proposals like the federal government’s plan to open more federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico for energy development proceeded.

But rejecting pipelines and saying no to traditional energy development, without legitimate alternatives, would set many of these Louisianans further back and endorse moving resources through less-safe means like rail or truck.

This ruling is a win for protecting our fragile wetlands and the environment. It’s also a win for those looking to lower their monthly expenses and fuel their daily lives more affordably.

Kaitlin Schmidtke

Louisiana state director, Consumer Energy Alliance