Tegan Wendland

Tegan Wendland is a freelance producer with a background in investigative news reporting. She currently produces the biweekly segment, Northshore Focus. 

Updated September 13, 2021 at 4:04 PM ET

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional responses to NPR's queries from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which it did not provide before the story was published.

It may be the most surprising addition to the growing number of states setting aggressive climate goals.

Louisiana's economy has long relied on the production of oil, gas and petrochemicals. But in a major shift, officials are looking to dramatically reduce the fossil fuel emissions that disproportionately ravage the state with powerful hurricanes, intense floods, rising seas and extreme heat.

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Among the states setting aggressive climate goals, perhaps the most surprising is Louisiana. The longtime oil and gas state is now trying to figure out how to become carbon neutral by 2050. Tegan Wendland of member station WWNO reports.

New Orleans officials are urging people to get vaccinated as they race against the threat of new coronavirus variants.

Louisiana is known for its losing battle against rising seas and increasingly frequent floods. It can sometimes seem like the state has too much water. But the aquifers deep beneath its swampy landscape face a critical shortage.

Lawmakers Sidestep Groundwater Crisis — For Decades

Mar 15, 2021

BATON ROUGE La. — State Rep. Denise Marcelle was born and raised in Baton Rouge. Like many residents, she’s always appreciated the crystal clear water here — drawn from deep in the Southern Hills Aquifer System.

SIBLEY, La. — Louisiana is ground zero for climate change. Its coast is disappearing at a rate of a football field every hour and a half and hurricanes are growing more fierce, forcing residents to move north to higher ground. Rainfall is also increasing, creating floods so severe that, in 2017, some reporters covered New Orleans by canoe.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has a water problem. But it has nothing to do with its losing battle against rising seas, rivers that routinely spill their banks or increasingly violent storms that pummel its coast.

After years of fighting lawsuits against oil and gas companies, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has agreed to settle one of them.

A long-promised study on cancer in St. John the Baptist Parish was released by Louisiana State University this week, but it does little to alleviate the fears of residents there.