In 2008, energy and environmental lawyer Carrie La Seur received a $5,000 grant from KEEN as a result of being a runner-up in KEEN’s Hybrid.STAND contest. The Hybrid.Stand contest was a KEEN initiative that awarded $150,000 to fund different innovative ideas centered around sustainability. There were three overall categories, Stand Up, Stand Out and Stand For, each having a grand prize of $25,000 and 5 runner-up prizes in the amount of $5,000.
La Seur is the founder and president of Plains Justice law firm. Plains Justice is a public interest environmental law center working for environmental justice and sustainable communities in the Northern Plains region of the US, including eastern Montana and Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. Their docket includes Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and energy policy work.
Last year, two of their biggest projects were fighting proposals for two massive coal-fired power plants in Iowa, both near significant minority communities. Each proposal was able to be defeated. Plains Justice has turned their efforts to shifting state and federal energy policy toward cleaner, climate-friendly solutions. It is also expanding a national “Clean Energy Ambassador” program, in which utility insiders educate public power managers on how to lower customer bills using advanced energy efficiency programming. Plains Justice continues to work with landowners and grassroots community activists to resist dirty energy projects, and it has hired a Ph.D. epidemiologist as a Public Health Specialist to educate communities about air and water quality issues. According to La Seur, every penny from the KEEN grant went to support Plains Justice’s programming.
In the video below, Carrie La Seur speaks at a rally to save an Iowa Heritage Farm from a planned coal plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The proposed coal plant was cancelled this year.
To learn more about Plains Justice or to make a donation, check out http://plainsjustice.org.