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Former Katrina pointman Honoré still mulling run for governor

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who coordinated military relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, says he is still mulling whether he wants to run for governor in 2015.

Honoré, who now campaigns for a coalition of Louisiana environmental advocacy groups known as Green Army, has said several times in the past that chasing the state’s highest office has crossed his mind.

“I spent 37 years serving our country as a public servant. I like this space I’m operating in, but I’m still thinking,” Honoré said at the Press Club of Baton Rouge’s weekly meeting at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino this afternoon. “Last time I checked, we’ve got several months left, and I’m thinking. But I’m going to have to do some hard convincing where I live and sleep. So I’m thinking.”

Honoré says he hopes to talk to other candidates for governor—the likes of which include Republicans U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards—about Louisiana’s natural resources going forward, saying none of them have done enough to discuss the state’s environmental issues.

Honoré repeated several themes during this afternoon’s speech, the most prominent of which was getting oil and gas companies to “clean up after themselves” for any environmental damage they might cause. He frequently pointed to the mangled Bayou Corne situation in Assumption Parish, where an enormous sinkhole that formed more than two years ago in August 2012 is still causing headaches.

“I don’t begrudge the energy industry for making money. We’ve just got to get them to clean up after themselves and make sure they fix what they break and operate in a responsible way,” Honoré said. “I’m not hearing any of these [gubernatorial] candidates talk about that.”

Honoré also outlined Green Army’s legislative agenda for 2015, which includes pushing for a state clean air act with modernized standards, better monitoring of local aquifers and cleaning up abandoned oil wells. —Robert Stewart

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