The governor laid the gauntlet down.
Companies and states that don’t embrace the global energy transition could get left behind, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told a room full of transportation fleet management executives at an energy conference in downtown Baton Rouge. “We’ve been known as an energy state for 100 years. If we want to be an energy state 30 years from now, 40 years from now, then we better do the things that we’re talking about,” Edwards said at the Clean Fuels Summit, a two-day conference in downtown Baton Rouge hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels and the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership. “Otherwise, investment is not going to come here.” Amid worldwide efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to stem the tide of climate change, Edwards has championed energy transition initiatives as a way to lower Louisiana’s carbon footprint and to save its vulnerable coastline. At his keynote speech Thursday, Edwards mentioned that billions of dollars are being poured into the state for projects related to cleaner hydrogen and ammonia and carbon capture, among other areas. “There’s an awful lot of capital being deployed to these technologies and to these efforts,” Edwards said. “If we embrace that transition — by the way, you should do that because the transition is going to happen whether you embrace it or not — but by embracing it, then you facilitate the flow of that capital, that investment to Louisiana.”nola.com
The two day conference had a lot on alternative fuels and best practices.
Presenters at the two-day summit spoke frequently about best practices for transportation companies looking to add alternative fuel vehicles to their fleets, including 18-wheelers powered by electric batteries, hydrogen and natural gas. Edwards noted that choosing to buy an electric truck for a transportation fleet is far more challenging than buying a passenger vehicle. “Over the course of the near future, individuals are going to have to make decisions about whether their next vehicle purchase is going to be an electric vehicle or not,” he said. “When you own and manage a fleet in one or more states, that decision is huge. We want to make sure that you all are successful, and that you can be successful in Louisiana, and we want to learn from you all because we have our own fleets.” Speaking of electric vehicles, Edwards said the state is still waiting for the Biden administration’s blessing to begin accepting applications for grants to build electric vehicle charging stations across Louisiana. He said the state hopes to announce winners of those grant awards later this year, assuming the process keeps moving forward.
The governor also noted the energy hub coming.
In other news, Edwards noted Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma’s HALO Hydrogen Hub has submitted its latest application for a share of $8 billion in federal funding for regional “clean” hydrogen hubs. He hinted that the funds handed out could range anywhere from $800 million to $1.25 billion. “That application is in. Our fingers are crossed,” Edwards said. “I feel very good about our prospects.”
The governor is right, change IS coming.