Louisiana Clean Fuels Annual Meeting Gets Rave Reviews from Attendees

    The Future of Transportation is Now

    On Wednesday, February 10th, Louisiana Clean Fuels invited all stakeholders to gather virtually for our 2021 Annual Stakeholder Meeting. Even without the typical networking lunch and king cake break, this year’s meeting was as interesting as ever, covering topics such as upcoming funding opportunities, LCF’s 2021 programs and projects, how our state is working towards its goal of Net Zero by 2050, and the carbon intensity of renewable fuels. Attendees from the meeting shared their immediate impression of the day's presentations with enthusiastic requests for a link to the recording and copies of presentations. One attendee raved, "The webinar yesterday was one of the best yet. I have been quoting Dr Brown and RMI all day.” Another attendee told us, "That was one of most interesting 2+ hour meetings I have ever attended”.

    LCF was joined by Britta Gross (Managing Director at Rocky Mountain Institute), Dr. Terrence Chambers (Director of the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Dr. Chuck Carr Brown (Secretary of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality), Sam Lehr (Manager of Sustainability and Markets Policy at Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas), and Troy Shoen (Senior Marketing Manager for Renewable Energy Group). If you missed out on the live webinar, you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel

    Meeting Summary

    Louisiana Clean Fuels Executive Director, Ann Vail, kicked off the meeting on February 12, 2021, by giving a summary of LCF’s plans for 2021. Some of these include new and ongoing educational projects such as: the expansion of our Green Fleets program, Ann’s participation in the Transportation Committee for the Climate Initiative Task Force, the official launch of our Drive Electric Louisiana program (funded through a Department of Energy grant), our 2nd Annual Clean Fuels Classic golf tournament to be held in October 2021, a 2-day Virtual Clean Fuels Summit scheduled for June 15-15, 2021, and finally, the continuation of our focus on providing safety training for Louisiana first responders. Ann emphasized that, much like 2020, this year holds uncertainty as to when we can hold in-person networking events again. The valuable experience LCF staff have gained by hosting virtual events and webinars has put the coalition in a strong position to maintain their high standards of supporting its partners and stakeholders.

    Following our LCF update, Britta Gross kicked off the guest speaker presentations with a discussion on carbon emissions and EV implementation. As
    she explained, the United States is the top emitter of carbon from transportation, and “... for the U.S., what this means is that we can’t address carbon emissions unless we address transportation.” This seems like a daunting task, but it is exactly what Louisiana Clean Fuels, and other Clean Cities Coalitions, are working on every day. To contain global warming to 1.5 degrees, we must reduce 45% of transportation emissions by 2030, Britta explained during her presentation. For Louisiana, this means a total of 625,000 EVs operating in the next 10 years, a considerable increase from the 3,000 EVs registered in the state as of last year. As Britta discussed, many sectors are pushing for EVs, including government, banking, and car industries, but there is still a lot of work to be done. 

    Dr. Terrence Chambers and Dr. Chuck Carr Brown also joined LCF for the Stakeholder Meeting to talk about the Louisiana Governor’s Climate Task Force. Both Mr. Chambers and Dr. Brown sit on the task force, working to identify ways to achieve the climate goals of Net Zero by 2050 set by Governor Edwards. Dr. Chambers provided a detailed overview of how the task force is set up, gave a timeline for the group’s activities, and shared information on how the public can participate by sharing detailed project ideas on how our state can attain Net Zero through an online survey portal that opened on February 24th and closes on April 30, 2021. 

    While the goals are ambitious, the state of Louisiana is prepared to achieve them. As Dr. Brown pointed out, Louisiana is in a very unique position to address emissions while remaining successful. The road to renewable energy is a long one, and in the meantime, we will need a cleaner energy source to bridge the gap from fossil fuels to renewable energy. “Natural gas will be that gap, and it gives all the oil and gas producers in the state of Louisiana an opportunity to remain economically viable until they can bring their pieces of the puzzle to the plate,” said Dr. Brown. Other factors that can contribute to reducing Louisiana’s emissions include carbon capture and storage, cap and trade policies, and transitioning away from coal use. To read more about the Climate Initiatives Task Force, see our recent blog here

    Finally, Troy Shoen and Sam Lehr wrapped up our speaker presentations with discussions on renewable energy. Renewable fuels are a great way to reduce carbon emissions with little additional cost to a fleet. Many renewable fuels are used as ‘drop-in fuels,’ or fuels that can be used with existing petroleum infrastructure. These fuels can help diesel fleets reduce their emissions without having to replace all their vehicles. Shoen is a Senior Marketing Manager for Renewable Energy Group (REG), which owns and operates a biodiesel facility in Geismar, Louisiana. As Shoen explained during his presentation, biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from biological fats and oils such as used cooking oil. Louisiana is a large producer of renewable biodiesel and also a top 10 consumer. The state legislature’s support is a major part of this, with a Louisiana mandate requiring 2% of all diesel sold in the state to contain biodiesel. As Shoen mentioned, this likely all led to REG’s recent announcement to expand the Geismar facility production capacity by 250 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Our second speaker on renewable fuel was Sam Lehr, a Manager of Sustainability and Markets Policy at the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. Renewable natural gas is a gas derived from renewable resources such as food waste, wastewater, agricultural waste, and landfill gas. Lehr’s discussion on feedstock availability in the US and West South Central region informed us that  RNG from within the region can supply 10% of current natural gas demand in Louisiana. This is a significant amount that can help Louisiana achieve some of the emission reduction goals set by the Governor’s Climate Initiative Task Force.

    Louisiana Clean Fuels would like to thank all of our stakeholders for attending and our guest speakers for participating in our 2021 Annual Stakeholder Meeting. This year, we are looking forward to the new technologies and programs that will shape the future of transportation. If you missed the meeting, a recording is available on LCF’s YouTube channel. After you watch the recording (or if you attended the meeting live), please let us know what you think of the presentations by participating in a short survey.

    If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Louisiana Clean Fuels, please check out our website:

    Thank you to REG and RNG Coalition for participating in this year’s meeting as well as for their continued support to Louisiana Clean Fuels as members.

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