Rachel Guillory is Oceana's Campaign Organizer in the Gulf region. She sent us this dispatch.
Last month, a number of Louisiana organizations hosted a two-day rally at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge. The rally, called “Love Your Coast”, was the collaborative effort of a handful of local student organizations and environmental groups.
One of the goals of this rally was to pass a resolution through the state legislature, which was drafted by Devin Martin and Darrell Hunt of the Sierra Club Delta Chapter. The resolution asks our political leaders to:
-Urge all state and federal authorities to commit all resources to stopping the leak, and protecting, cleaning, and restoring our shores;
-Urge the state to use all legal means to get all affected individuals and businesses swiftly and justly compensated;
-Present a strategy for the prevention of another drilling disaster and it's economic consequences by prioritizing economic diversification, clean energy development, and safer and more environmentally stringent drilling regulations.
After an afternoon listening to speakers on the blistering steps of the State Capitol that Friday, we went inside armed with our resolution. It was the second-to-last day of the 2010 legislative session, and we could feel the sense of urgency in the senate chambers.
I targeted the Republican from my hometown of Slidell, Senator A.G. Crowe. After a brief meeting with the Senator about the need to switch to clean energy in light of the oil spill, he replied, “You know you’re preaching to the choir, right? Give me 10 minutes to look the resolution over, and I’ll let you know if I can adopt it.”
He kept his promise, and I am happy to announce that the resolution passed the following Monday, June 21, as SR 181.
Although a resolution is simply a statement that the Senate adopted, this is a profoundly symbolic step by the Louisiana legislature to put our state on a new track—a track that will wean us off of our economic, political, and energy dependence on offshore drilling and begin the process of transformation that Louisiana needs to secure our place as an energy leader in the new, clean energy economy.
The next legislative session in Louisiana doesn’t start until March 2011, and we’ve got plenty of work to do between now and then. Let's hold our lawmakers to their words and make sure that the "Great State of Louisiana" has a bright, clean new future for its people and its wildlife.