Seeking the Future of Louisiana's Coast in its Past: A Detective Story - Baton Rouge Group Lecture Series

Bellin 1764 LaCoast, courtesy of Special Collections LSU libraries.

Dr. Richard Condrey, LSU Dept. of Oceanography (ret.) will discuss some amazing findings regarding the Last Naturally Active Delta Complexes of the Mississippi River and why an understanding of them is critical to any efforts to restore the coast during the next occasion of the Lecture Series of the Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club on Wednesday, June 24th to be held at The Backpacker.

Louisiana Legislative Update June 11, Status of Environmental Bills at the End of the Session

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Here is a rundown on some of the bills on environmental issues that were considered during the just concluded Louisiana legislative session. Despite this being a "fiscal" session and all the attention given to the state's fiscal deficit there were these notable efforts on the environmental front. Sierra Club and allies were actively working for the environment and public health on these issues.

HB 180 by Rep Joe Bouie of New Orleans is a Green Army supported bill that would have prohibited the construction of any pre-K through 12th grade school on property formerly used for the disposal, storage, or deposition of sewage sludge, solid waste, hazardous waste, or oilfield waste. The bill sponsors hoped the bill would become law in time to stop the planned construction of a school on the old Clio Street/Silver City Dump in New Orleans. Monique Harden and with technical help from Wilma Subra of LEAN did a great job of shepherding the bill through successful votes in House Education Committee and the House floor. The bill stalled in Senate Education Committee over concerns that the bill would apply too broadly statewide. The bill was opposed by the New Orleans Recovery School District, Louisiana contractors and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

La. Green Army Legislative Wrap Up with Russel Honore - New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club June Meeting

Gen. Honore

Orleans Sierra Club presents: Lt. General Russel Honore will speak about the Louisiana state legislative session, what it means for the environment and how we can continue to build a stronger, more interconnected movement here in Louisiana.

Lt. Gen. Honore is famous for his service to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and now for spearheading the Green ARMY that is working to fight for the environment in Louisiana.

This month we are in a new location, the First Unitarian Universalist Church on 4903 Jefferson Avenue, New Orleans. (corner of Claiborne and Jefferson.)

Please call State Senators, ask them to vote NO on HCR 29 on Senate floor

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HCR 29 tells USEPA to withdraw proposed guidelines for reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel fired power plants and urges the Louisiana governor and state attorney general to take legal action to prevent the guidelines from being implemented. Carbon emissions have been shown to be the primary cause of global warming and climate change. Louisiana is one of the states most vulnerable to catastrophic storms and land loss due to the combination of subsidence and sea level rise. Louisiana has excellent potential for re-allocating dirty electric power generation to clean sources including natural gas, renewable energy including wind and solar, and energy efficiency. Movement toward clean energy would create jobs and keep energy investment dollars in the state. Louisiana has a dynamic economy that could enable the state to be a leader in the transition to clean energy. But HCR 29 says that Louisiana wants nothing to do with it. We think this resolution is a bad idea.

Foster Campbell tells it like it is - Best Louisiana legislative update

FOSTER CAMPBELL
LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER
27 May 2015

Letters to the Editor
The Baton Rouge Advocate

Louisiana will suffer chronic financial problems until we break the grip of the major oil companies on the Legislature and Governor.

An umbilical cord connects our legislators and Governor to Big Oil. That cord may feed the politicians, but Louisiana continues to rank poorly in educational, environmental and economic wellbeing.

Week Six Legislative Update

State Capital w tree

Week six of the 2015 regular legislative session begins with one bit of great news on the environmental front. HB 597 (Bishop, regarding environmental self audit privileges) was likely the worst environmental bill of the session. At last week's hearing of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, Bishop withdrew his bill from the agenda. Given the late stage of the session and the pounding Bishop has taken from the Green Army, LEAN, the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, the bill is likely dead for the session.

Legislative Alert – Please help to stop House Bill 597, the Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act

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May 18, 2015 Update - HB 597 appears to be dead for the 2015 legislative session. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for your help to keep this bad bill from going anywhere.

The Louisiana Regulatory Compliance Escape Act (our name for it) is the stinker bill of the 2015 legislative session. HB 597 by Representative Stuart Bishop of Lafayette is the latest attempt by industry to get around monitoring and enforcement of environmental standards. The bill would allow an industry to conduct a voluntary audit of compliance with environmental laws and regulations and would protect the industry from having to disclose any information during the audit. The proposed law further provides that no penalty can be imposed by a state entity for violations discovered during a voluntary environmental audit.

HB 597 prevents public agencies or citizens from finding out anything once a facility decides to conduct a voluntary audit and provides extended exemption from compliance with regulations or imposition of penalties.

Invitation to GreenArmy Lobby Day, Thursday, May 14, 2015

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All are invited to Green Army Legislative Lobby Day on Thursday, May 14. We will be at the Louisiana State Capitol on that day starting at 9:00 am. Green Army organizations will be doing table displays, will be presenting information on important legislation, and will be coordinating meetings with legislators. We will have copies of the GreenArmy legislative report card and bullet points on important bills that GreenArmy is supporting for this legislative session. We will be providing opportunities for Louisiana residents to meet with legislators at the State Capitol. All are invited to contact GreenArmy in advance to arrange meetings with legislators, or to just show up and show support.

Understanding the toxicity of oil dispersant mixtures, and the development of alternatives

Date: May 20, 2015
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: UL Mouton Hall, Rm 117, Johnston St. & E. St. Mary Blvd. Lafayette, LA.
Enter north door of Mouton Hall. Room 117 is on the left.

In this seminar scientists will present published research regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The effects of oil-dispersant mixtures on aquatic life and research into bacteria-based dispersants will be discussed. A brief history of dispersants and the impacts of oil and dispersants in near-shore environments will also be given. Q & A period and an audience input session will follow the presentations.

Presenters:
Dr. Christopher Green (LSU AgCenter)
Dr. Andrew Nyman (LSU AgCenter)
Dr. Emily Maung-Douglass (Louisiana Sea Grant/LSU)

Legislative Update Apr 26, 2015

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NOTES FROM THE SESSION:

In more than 30 years of lobbying I have never seen a legislative session quite like the one that began on April 13th. It is an odd year, 2015, which means a shortened fiscal session limited to a sixty day time span during which the legislature cannot convene more than 45 days. This session must end no later than June 13th.

Louisiana’s constitution allows legislators to introduce up to five bills on any topic, but given the state’s dire fiscal situation—surely the worst since 1987 and possibly, with a $1.6-$1.8 billion deficit to be closed, the worst in modern times—money issues are clearly foremost in the minds of legislators. Further complicating matters, Louisiana legislators, except for those who are term limited, face reelection this fall.

And finally, with more power and authority vested in him than the governor of any other state, Governor Jindal has all but checked out to focus his attention on a presumed bid for the White House. Jindal’s parting words to legislators on the opening day of the session were, “Good Luck.” As if his absence were not problematic enough, Jindal has made it clear that he will veto any measure that is not revenue neutral. The legislature, then, can raise taxes or fees, but they must be offset with tax and/or fee reductions elsewhere. If this holds it can only mean further cuts in government programs that many people believe cannot sustain further cuts, especially in the fields of higher education and health care.

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