Louisianians for Energy aims to help industry fight negative news

The executive director of the Louisiana Propane Gas Association is spearheading an effort to combat negative news about the state’s energy sector.

The organization, working with Creative Communications, launched Louisianians for Energy last week to function as something of a PR arm for the oil and gas industry.

LPGA executive director Randy Hayden calls Louisianians for Energy an unincorporated nonprofit venture that won’t lobby—though he doesn’t rule this out in the future—or have a political action committee.

Instead, it will push “positive” news—via a newsletter and other communications—about an industry that finds itself at the center of coastal erosion litigation as well as battling media-savvy environmentalists attempting to halt construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline across south Louisiana. Some 2,300 individuals have signed up for the enewsletter.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen lawsuits filed against the industry. There’s a pipeline project that’s been held up,” Hayden says. “We kind of get the impression that the oil and gas industry is under attack now.”

Though the nonprofit won’t initially be at the Legislature supporting or opposing legislation, Hayden says it will inform the public about bills that could negatively impact the state’s energy sector.

LPGA will work closely with groups like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and others to push a consistent message, says Hayden, who also is president of the Baton Rouge Creative Communications, an advertising, public relations and political communication firm.

The firm frequently works with natural gas industry and is not getting paid for its role in Louisianians for Energy, Hayden says.

“There is a belief that maybe we should come together, if possible, under some banner and make sure that people are hearing the good news and (seeing) the big picture,” Hayden says. “LABI is as close as it comes to an umbrella organization that helps get out good information about that industry. We want to be another voice. We’re not national so the issues that we deal with are Louisiana specific.”

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