New Orleans City Council declares intention to achieve renewable energy goals. Denies 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
“It’s clear that the Council’s Advisors and Entergy have no problem with the fact that we struggle with high electric bills and severe climate risk in the City of New Orleans. It’s time that the City Council take bold action and reject plans by its Advisors and Entergy that fail to make our city equitable and sustainable," said Monique Harden, Director of Law & Policy and the Community Engagement Program Manager at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.
This resolution did not approve a 100% renewable mandate that the Energy Future New Orleans (EFNO) Coalition has proposed, and leaves out the equitable access, economic justice, and community engagement goals put forward by EFNO over the last year. More than one thousand residents and 76 businesses have signed a petition to the New Orleans City Council calling for a commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040.
The EFNO Coalition remains opposed to the use of some resources that would be allowed under this standard, including nuclear and carbon capture, sequestration and utilization (CCSU), and gas power plants, none of which are renewable, clean, nor cost-effective resources.
“43% of our residents are cost-burdened due to housing, and one of the main reasons for that is utility bills.” said Andreanecia Morris, of HousingNOLA. “A Renewable Portfolio Standard combined with greater energy efficiency can lead to greater savings for our residents while also creating more well paying jobs. We look forward to working with the Council on the RPS. This is one step closer towards addressing housing affordability and creating a better energy future for New Orleans.”
Today’s resolution comes on the heels of an economic impact study by the local firm GCR Inc., found that the EFNO Coalition’s Resilient Renewable Portfolio Standard plan would lead to 3,157 jobs in the solar sector alone. The study points out that many of these jobs would be local, entry-level positions. Additionally the study found that there would be a $478,300,887 overall economic impact to New Orleans Communities. Offsetting total costs by nearly $151M by 2040. Another economic study by the Applied Economic Clinic found that the proposed 100% renewable energy by 2040 plan would strengthen local grid infrastructure and deliver more affordable energy to New Orleans’ residents and businesses.
“We as EFNO members commit to participation in the upcoming procedural schedule in a meaningful manner, bringing resources to the table that demonstrate the viability and benefits of including elements of the Resilient and Renewable Portfolio Standard in that path forward,” said Brent Newman of Audubon Louisiana. “We commit to ensuring that opportunity to lead on climate is met, and that the final action taken by the Council will address the host of challenges facing New Orleanians.”
The Resilient and Renewable Portfolio Standard, developed by the EFNO Coalition recommends a comprehensive path for the City of New Orleans to reach 100% renewable energy by the year 2040, and to reach that target by addressing the greatest challenges faced by residents, which will be exacerbated by the climate crisis. Among these challenges are some of the highest energy burdens in the country for low- and moderate-income ratepayers, and the ever-increasing demands of the city to be resilient during frequent extreme weather events and power outages.
The Energy Future New Orleans Coalition includes the Alliance for Affordable Energy, Audubon Louisiana, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, Justice & Beyond, Sierra Club & 350 New Orleans
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The Energy Future New Orleans Coalition is: