Preparing the Ground for Clean Energy Policy – ​​Clean Air Task Force

Louisiana’s new leadership brought significant changes to the state’s energy policy during the 2024 regular legislative session. In addition to a new governor, Gov. Jeff Landry, who took office in January, many members of the legislature were also new, including 50 of the state’s 105 House members and 19 of the state’s 39 Senate members. With new legislators and leadership came new policies. Louisiana made major changes to energy policy, from the unification of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to a clean hydrogen task force, and from the reorganization of state agencies to increased air monitoring requirements.

Here are some of the most important events:

  1. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Louisiana has passed eight bills related to CCS, including HB492, which clarified the use of preemption laws for CCS transportation and geological storage; HB966, which authorized land unification for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, which will enable efficient storage of CO2 on land; HB937, which limited landowners’ liability for CO2 sequestration on their properties; HB169, which clarified the amount recoverable for CCS damages; and HB516, which provided a framework for state approval and oversight of CCS projects to enhance safety, property rights, and compliance. These bills further clarified geological storage rights and laid the groundwork for future CCS projects in Louisiana. The House also approved two resolutions to explore ways local governments could monetize CO2 storage (HSR5) and understanding the issue of compensation for owners of trapped minerals (HSR6).
  1. Pure hydrogen: The Legislature initiated an important and dynamic conversation on clean hydrogen through HCR64, which established the Clean Hydrogen Task Force to develop strategies and policies that promote clean hydrogen in the state. CATF Action worked closely to share information with legislators and support legislation on this topic.
  1. Renewable and alternative energy: Louisiana has taken steps to support renewable energy efforts through bills HB300 and HB305, which directed the distribution of state funds received from offshore renewable energy production to rebuild the state’s coast; SR60, which established Louisiana Renewable Energy Day; and SR26, which established Gulf Coast Renewable Energy Industry Association Day.
  1. Agency reorganizations: The legislature led to Governor Landry’s commitment to reorganize state agencies. SB65 formally reestablished the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (LDENR), while HB810 established the organization, duties, and responsibilities of LDENR to consolidate energy and natural resources functions. The LDENR reorganization will improve the department’s efficiency, streamline regulatory processes for clean and traditional energy, and enforce environmental standards. Additionally, SB494, known as the “Positioning Louisiana to Win” bill, significantly reformed the state’s economic development strategy and restructured the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. This bill could indirectly benefit clean energy, such as by streamlining the permitting and business approval process.
  1. Location: The legislature passed SB108, which changed the procedures and conditions under which property can be expropriated by public entities. HR2 called on the U.S. Congress to enact federal permitting reforms to speed up the deployment of new energy infrastructure. In this regard, HB461 mandated the confidentiality of documents related to local and parish economic development projects, which was intended to protect confidential information during the planning and negotiation phases of projects, including clean energy projects. While protecting information, this legislation could create public skepticism by excluding communities from the decision-making process.
  1. Brine: The bill, SB285, which was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, aimed to clarify the process and use of brine for direct lithium extraction, with the goal of increasing lithium production in Louisiana.
  1. Air monitoring: SB503 mandated the implementation of community air quality monitoring systems that meet regulatory requirements to conduct statewide inspections and respond to permit noncompliance and alleged violations, and SCR30 established the Community Air Quality Monitoring and Notification Task Force, which was created the CATF.

Notably, several energy-related bills failed to gain sufficient support this session, including bills on CCS moratoriums and expropriations. For example, HB276, which would have imposed local land-use requirements on CCS activities, HB73, which would have imposed a tax on CO2 injection for geological sequestration, and HB96, which would have provided a clean energy loan program based on property valuations, all died in the House. HB934, which would have used revenue from geological sequestration projects to fund various state environmental and conservation initiatives, was vetoed.

Louisiana’s 2024 regular legislative session brought many energy-related policies to the finish line and laid the groundwork for more important conversations. In 2025, we expect to see stronger support for clean energy, further discussions on air monitoring and CCS, increased momentum for clean hydrogen, and greater clarity on agency reorganization. CATF looks forward to continuing to work as Louisiana’s partner to ensure a cleaner future.