‘A generational opportunity’: Louisiana climate task force sets eyes on federal dollars

Published: March 10, 2022

By: Claire Sullivan, LSU Manship School News Service

The Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, rises above marshland and coastal waters on Aug. 25, 2019, in Leeville. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Louisiana governor’s Climate Initiatives Task Force met Wednesday for the first time since unanimously passing a climate action plan in January, the first of its kind in the Gulf South.

Fifty public meetings into its 16-month existence, the task force is shifting gears from planning to executing its 84-step action plan. A bipartisan infrastructure act signed into law by President Joe Biden provides a unique opportunity to fund these efforts.

Louisiana is set to qualify for billions of dollars for road repairs, extreme weather preparedness, public transportation, broadband expansion and more. Another $179 billion in competitive federal funds is up for grabs to fund infrastructure projects, with special consideration for climate-focused efforts.

While task force members were optimistic about the prospect of federal funding, they also reckoned with the political uncertainty.

“I really want to encourage folks to pay attention to what’s already being rolled out” in the Louisiana Legislature, Flozell Daniels, president of the Foundation for Louisiana, said, referring to proposals to shield the state’s oil and gas industry from the changes.

“Much of it is designed to undermine the considerable work that’s been put into this plan, and we should acknowledge that,” Daniels said.

Read more at Louisiana Illuminator

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