After successful fight against barge-cleaning facility environmentalists and others turn their attention to north Baton Rouge _lowres

Photo provided by Jeffrey Dubinsky/Louisiana Environmental Action Network -- retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré

Thousands of Louisiana families are about to get the rug pulled out from under them by five officials at the Louisiana Public Service Commission. These men are elected to represent the people of this state, and stand up to the utilities who have an interest in putting even more of our money in their pockets and continue to pollute our air and water.

This commission is considering a radical increase to the bills of the hardworking residents and businesses who have invested hard-earned money to put solar panels on their rooftops based on an understanding of how they will be credited for the energy they’re providing to the grid. The state’s utilities have lobbied to change the rules in the middle of the game, and they could just get their way. I’m saying no more.

Instead of fighting our greatest resources, we demand rules that protect consumers over utility monopolies. This commission should do its job for the people that elected them, not the big utilities with their armies of high-paid lobbyists.

We should be putting the sun to work in our state. Louisiana has the some of the strongest solar potential in the southeastern states, but we lag behind every other state in the region on utilities investing in solar. On the other hand, families across Louisiana have put their own money into installing 90 MW of rooftop solar state-wide.

In order for Louisiana to continue to be a strong energy leader, we need to support the development of a diverse, home-grown energy landscape. Residential solar, supported by good net metering policies, adds resilience to our grid and reduces costs for all by reducing the need for new toxic power plants. Our commissioners need to hear from us that net metering is a net benefit for all of Louisiana. 

Gen. Russel Honore’

U.S. Army, retired

Baton Rouge