DiscoverEnergy Policy NowWhat Stands Between Louisiana and a Resilient Electric Grid?
What Stands Between Louisiana and a Resilient Electric Grid?

What Stands Between Louisiana and a Resilient Electric Grid?

Update: 2021-10-05
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Hurricane Ida was the most recent storm to wreak havoc on Louisiana’s electric grid.  A legal expert discusses the struggle to provide resilient power in the state as weather and climate risks grow.

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The year 2021 has seen an unprecedented number of large-scale electric grid failures driven by extreme weather. Over the winter, severe cold led to the collapse of Texas’ electricity system, while in California an aging electric grid has sparked wildfires in a state that has endured two decades of drought. Most recently, Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas knocked out electric lines along the Gulf Coast, leaving tens of thousands of residents without power, many for weeks.

What all of these electricity system failures have in common, apart from the lives that they have cost, is that they are likely to be repeated unless the electric grid can be made more resilient.

Robert Verchick, a professor of environmental law at Loyola University in New Orleans, discusses the challenge of making the electric grid resilient in Louisiana, a state that arguably has the longest record of combating climate-related natural disasters and the electric grid destruction they cause.

Verchick explores why Louisiana has so far failed to adequately address the threat to its electric grid, and discusses recent initiatives in the state to develop a more robust, and greener grid even as resistance to such efforts continues.

Robert Verchick is the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans and president of the Center for Progressive Reform. He is also a member of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward’s Climate Initiatives Task Force.

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What Stands Between Louisiana and a Resilient Electric Grid?

What Stands Between Louisiana and a Resilient Electric Grid?

Robert Verchick, Loyola University