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Foster Campbell applauds the SE Louisiana Flood Protection Authority lawsuit to hold oil companies accountable for wetlands loss

Foster Campbell
LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
30 July 2013
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

I was happy to hear about the coastal-damage lawsuit brought against the major oil companies by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East. This effort out of New Orleans is long overdue. For years the people of Louisiana have seen how offshore oil exploration and production has damaged our wetlands. The BP spill, as bad as it was, will be viewed as a minor event when placed in the context of years of coastal erosion. Yet, since the destruction of our wetlands has become known and fully understood, no statewide politician except Gov. Dave Treen has tried to hold the oil industry accountable.

HCR 68 Continues Study of Bayou Teche

BT snake mr.JPG

House Concurrent Resolution 68 by Representative Stephen Ortego has passed the Louisiana Legislature and continues the study of Bayou Teche for designation as a Historic and Scenic River under the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act. HCR 68 focuses the study on the portions of Bayou Teche flowing through St. Martin Parish and St. Landry Parish. HCR 49 in last year’s (2012) legislature had requested La Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries to study inclusion of the entire length of Bayou Teche in four parishes.

LPSC Considering Rollback of Incentives for Solar Panels on Homes

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

The Louisiana Public Service Commission met Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Baton Rouge and heard testimony on Net-Metering by solar installers and owners, utility representatives, PSC staff and others. Clyde Holloway, District 4 commissioner and proponent of changing the net-meter order, offered a motion but said he would delay a vote until the PSC meets May 21 in Baton Rouge. Here are highlights of his pending motion:

1) Reduce the rate of payment to net-metering customers to average avoided cost plus one cent per kilowatt-hour

Senator Vitter Pays High Compliment to Lisa Jackson

Jordan Blum reports yesterday that Sen. David Vitter has called Lisa Jackson, of New Orleans, "the worst EPA head ever." If I were Lisa Jackson I would take that as a high compliment coming from Sen. Vitter. http://theadvocate.com/home/5685175-125/vitter-questions-epa-nominee

Net-Metering in Louisiana Slated for Execution

Mary Shepp's home in Lafayette

This information comes to us from our friends at Alliance for Affordable Energy and is repeated here because of its importance to the future of the solar industry in Louisiana.

Unless we all step forward to defend it, Louisiana will be the 1st state to eliminate solar net-metering. Under current law in Louisiana (and every other state), all energy generated by solar customers belongs to them. Every kWh they feed onto the grid they are entitled to a credit worth a kWh in return. At the end of the month the customer owes the utility the base customer charge plus whatever extra power they used over what they produced.

Scenic Rivers on a Roll

The Sierra Club campaign to elevate the visibility and effectiveness of the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Program is on a roll. On Feb 23 we organized and presented a Scenic Rivers Panel at the Tulane Environmental Summit. A room full of people learned about the legal basis, the history and the practical effect of the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act. The panel was organized by our Scenic Rivers campaign leader Hugh Penn.

Second, the Delta Chapter has several wins to report. In the time we have been working on this, the Secretary of DWF has agreed to write new Management Plans for the Scenic Bayou Liberty, the Scenic Bayou Manchac and the Scenic West Pearl. These three new plans will serve as templates for other new plans state wide and will result in better protection of existing water quality, wilderness qualities and scenic values.

We are also working with LDWF to improve their website for use by the public. We are working to persuade LDWF to post the eight hundred (800) existing Scenic Rivers Permits, all 63 Management Plans and new Applications for Scenic Rivers Permits online for public comment.

The Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act is one of the best statutes in the country for helping to preserve and enhance natural streams. The Act was passed into state law in the early 1970’s and if administered with adequate resources could be one of our most effective tools in helping to protect natural places in Louisiana.

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