Update - Four of the five permits to be considered at public hearing have been withdrawn

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In a victory for the environment four out of the five applications to withdraw huge amounts of water from our scenic rivers have been withdrawn. This represents a significant victory for Sierra Club Delta Chapter. We have been in the forefront of the battle to protect our Louisiana Scenic Rivers by keeping the oil and gas companies from using huge quantities of scenic rivers water for fracking in the Florida parishes.

Sierra Club had filed comments on all the applications for withdrawal of water from scenic rivers pointing to numerous areas in which insufficient or contradictory information has been provided. And we demanded that public hearings be held regarding the permit applications. A public hearing had been set for Oct 29, 2014 for five recent applications to withdraw water. That public hearing is in now in doubt because four out of the five applications to be considered at that hearing have now been withdrawn. We have sent a request for clarification to LDWF and will update you here. 

Recently withdrawn permits include #s 902, 903 and 911 on the Tickfaw River in St. Helena Parish, and #904 on the Amite River in East Feliciana Parish. The withdrawal of these permit applications means that we have saved a total of 75 million gallons of scenic river water from being turned into toxic waste. 

Earlier headline:

LDWF announces Public Hearing on five applications to withdraw water from Scenic Rivers for fracking

PUBLIC HEARING
 
The Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as administrator of Louisiana’s Scenic Rivers System, is currently considering Scenic River Permit Application numbers 902, 903, 904, 906, and 911 for water withdrawals from the Amite and Tickfaw Rivers associated with well fracturing.  In response to a sufficient number of requests for public hearings on these applications received by the Department, and since these withdrawals are similar in nature and close together (within 12 miles of one another), the Department has decided to hold one hearing for all five applications.  The hearing is being held to gather comments and information from all interested parties.
 
The hearing will be held on October 29, 2014 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at:
 
St. Helena Parish Police Jury
17911 Highway 43 N
(Approximately 0.75 miles north of LA Hwy 10 along west shoulder of Hwy 43) 
Greensburg, LA 70441
 
The public is invited to attend and provide comments to the Department.  Written comments may be submitted now and will be accepted for a period of 15 days after the hearing.  Written comments should be submitted to:
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Scenic Rivers Program
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898

Keith Cascio
Scenic Rivers Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
368 CenturyLynk Drive
Monroe, Louisiana 71203
Phone: (318) 343-4045
Fax: (318) 345-0797 

Update - LPSC Reinstates Energy Efficiency Programs

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The Louisiana Public Service Commission on Oct 9 reinstated Energy Efficiency programs after having inexplicably suspended them on Sep 25. The reinstatement comes after expressions of outrage from citizens groups, energy efficiency contractors and suppliers and NGOs. Thanks to our friends at Alliance for Affordable Energy and to all who called or emailed their commissioners to say that we wanted our Energy Efficiency programs back on track. 

LPSC suspends scheduled implementation of Louisiana Energy Efficiency Programs

The Louisiana Public Service Commission adopted Energy Efficiency rules at its last public meeting of 2012 before expiration of the term of Commissioner Jimmy Fields. The Commission came back in 2013 with new Commissioner Scott Angelle and suspended the rules, starting a whole new round of public comment and testimony about the benefits of Energy Efficiency (EE) programs for the State of Louisiana. Commissioner Angelle came back with a proposal for voluntary EE programs and obtained commitments from three major electric utilities, Entergy, CLECO and SWEPCO to implement EE programs. Utilities had hired contractors to help implement the programs and small businesses were geared up to help homeowners and small businesses start saving money on the proposed program start date of Oct 1, 2014. 

The Zero Candidate - a letter to newsmedia

Bill Cassidy - The Zero Candidate

The League of Conservation Voters has crafted an Environmental Scorecard for Congress for several decades now. The Scorecard grades voting records for Senators and Representatives in each Session of Congress, as well as lifetime score for each member.

It’s not surprising that Louisiana’s delegation has generally scored poorly, given the political influence of the petrochemical industry in our state. But the scores in the last few years have plummeted for Republican members of the state delegation, reflecting a highly conservative ideology combining hatred of government, disdain for science, and the power of campaign contributions with a lack of regard for America’s natural heritage.

John Bel Edwards at the New Orleans Group Meeting

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The New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club hosts Gubernatorial Candidate John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards is a State Representative (D-Amite) from the Tangipahoa Parish area of the North Shore region, and is running for Governor of Louisiana in 2015. At the New Orleans Group monthly meeting, Sunday, September 14th, John Bel will address the SLFPA-East Levee Authority lawsuit and the related legislation from the 2014 legislative session, as well as the fracking ingredient disclosure legislation he passed several years ago. He will also entertain questions at the end of his talk.

Sunday September 14th
6:30 Refreshments

7pm talk

The Sierra Club meets in the Dominion Auditorium at the Audubon Zoo located at 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118.

For more information, visit the Sierra Club Delta Chapter event on Facebook. The program is free and open to everyone.

The Environment and the 2014 Election - Baton Rouge Group Meeting

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"The Environment and the 2014 Election"

A presentation and discussion by the Baton Rouge Sierra Club

Join us for our bi-monthly General Program meeting. This month we'll be reviewing the upcoming Federal Elections for Senate, House of Representatives, other ballot items such as Louisiana Constitutional Amendments, and the consequences for the environment attached to those decisions.

WHEN: Thursday, September 25, 7:00 pm

WHERE: East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library - Goodwood Library Meeting Room B, upstairs. 7711 Goodwood Blvd Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Please visit us at Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club for other outings, events, and statements.

American Energy, Imperiled Coast - Acadian Group Lecture Series

American Energy Imperiled Coast

American Energy, Imperiled Coast

Oil and Gas Development in Louisiana’s Wetlands

Explores the tension between Oil & Gas development and the land loss crisis in coastal Louisiana

 

A Presentation, Discussion and Book Signing with Jason Theriot

 

Why Louisiana should support the USEPA Clean Power Plan

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Why do we need the USEPA Clean Power Plan

The link between elevated levels of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and rising temperatures is well established (IPCC 2007). Forty percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and one-third of greenhouse gases overall, come from electric power plants, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The country needs a plan to reduce carbon emissions from electric power generation.

Why Louisiana should support the USEPA Clean Power Plan

Frackers Withdraw from the Tangipahoa River

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The Delta Chapter Sierra Club has worked for years to protect Louisiana's Scenic Rivers. Our work has paid off on the Tangipahoa River. On 8-29-2014, Goodrich Petroleum voluntarily withdrew its Application for a Scenic River Permit to "extract" twenty five million (25,000,000) gallons of "outstanding natural resource" water from the tiny river for use as fracking fluid. 

Fracking Threatens Scenic Rivers in the Florida Parishes

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Oil and gas development companies are proposing to drill wells and conduct fracking operations in the Tuscalusa Shale in East Feliciana, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and St. Tammany Parishes in eastern Louisiana. One of the major impacts of the proposed fracking for natural gas and oil will be the huge volumes of water required. Each fracking operation can have three, five or up to ten or twelve wells and can use anywhere from 3 to 8 million gallons of fresh water. The water for each well may be mixed with 60 to 160 tons of chemicals used to facilitate the fracking process.

Legislative Update July 1, 2014

Sierra Club Delta Chapter was actively engaged with the 2014 legislative session in alliance with the Green Army and participant allied groups. The bills listed here are the ones we were most closely watching. The bills we supported are listed first, then the bills we opposed. The list has been updated to show the final outcome of each bill in the 2014 legislative session. 

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