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Governor proposes moving coastal restoration to agency that issues oil and gas permits

Posted on March 11, 2024

Since its inception in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has been agency tasked with helping to protect and restore our natural coastline.

Recognized as one of the best restoration agencies in the country CPRA has been responsible for billions of dollars worth of restoration and protection projects, including Louisiana’s moon shot Mississippi River diversion plan.

CPRA is an organization that traditionally has remained bi-partisan and out of politics, allowing scientists and engineers to be the ones driving their proposals.

That’s why a new proposal by newly elected Governor Jeff Landry has both conservationists and some lawmakers concerned.

In a memo issued by Governor Landry in early February he asked to explore the possibility of moving CPRA out of the Governor’s Office and into the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Energy and Natural Resources, the department responsible for issuing oil and gas permits.

Landry’s reasoning for the move is to make it easier for the state to issue new oil and gas permits, something that was reiterated by the DENR in a statement they sent regarding the move:

“Having these agencies separated has created information and process silos that work to impede efficiency in their respective missions and shared goals of balancing the needs of protection of our people and the environment with the economic needs of providing jobs and business opportunities. Consolidating them means less wasted time for permits and projects and less delay in responding to the needs of the coast and our people.”

Conservationists who are leery of Landry’s proposal, however, say they believe that there’s no reason to make changes to CPRA and point to the agencies successes as proof that it doesn’t need to be changed, views they expressed in an open letter to the new administration.

There was a brief window for the public to submit comments regarding the proposal, which opened around Mardi Gras and closed shortly after, and while the administration says they will hold public meetings, dates for those meetings have not yet been set.

Click here for the letter.



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