Conservation

Four of the five permits to be considered at public hearing have been withdrawn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the environment four out of the five applications to withdraw huge amounts of water from our scenic rivers have been withdrawn.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hearing is in now in doubt because four out of the five applications to be considered at that hearing have now been withdrawn.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Recently withdrawn permits include #s 902, 903 and 911 on the Tickfaw River in St. Helena Parish, and #904 on the Amite River in East Feliciana Parish.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. 

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. 

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.

Support St. Martin Parish Council resolution against Re-Zoning to Industrial in the Atchafalaya Basin

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We have this important request from our allies at Atchafalaya Basinkeeper. 

F.A.S. Environmental, Inc. is trying to re-zone parts of the Atchafalaya Basin from Residential/Forestry to Heavy Industrial. This part of the Atchafalaya Basin, the Belle River area, has the most pristine and productive swamps that remain in the Basin, and it has the highest concentration of southern bald eagles in the world.  Do we want our precious Basin to become the waste pit of North America?  What benefit would that be to our kids and grandkids? Once gone, it’s gone forever. 

Wilma Subra's Fracking Presentation at the Castine Center May 12, 2014

This is a highly informative presentation about the potential effects of fracking in St. Tammany Parish. The presentation was given by Dr. Wilma Subra representing LEAN at the Castine Center in Mandeville Louisiana on May 12, 2014. 

April 15 Update on SB 650

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The news on this bill is not good. SB 650 was passed with favorable recommendation out of Senate Environment Committee on April 15. The bill then goes to the Senate floor. Sierra Club and Alliance for Affordable Energy made statements in opposition. LEAN was there to support us. Lobbyists from coal, oil, natural gas, railroads, chemical industries and electric utilities were there in favor of this bad bill. La DEQ also made a statement in support and provided an amendment. The committee voted the bill out as ammended with a favorable recomendation. 

Louisiana Public Service Commission Looks to Go Backward on Solar, March 12 Update

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The LPSC was slated to consider two rules at their Wednesday, March 12, 9:00 am meeting which could drastically reduce the presence of residential solar in Louisiana. The proposed rules would drastically reduce Net Metering Compensation and could reduce the number of solar systems in each utility. 

Update

The LPSC decided again today, March 12, not to decide. For the last year and a half Commissioner Clyde Holloway has threatened almost every monthly meeting with one idea or another to set back our progress for solar net metering, renewable energy or energy efficiency in Louisiana. Many of those times we have had to call on Sierra Club members and allies to call the commissioners offices to voice our support for residential solar in Louisiana. When I called my commissioner Scott Angelle his staff person said they were getting a lot of calls. So we know the commissioners have been hearing from us. Thanks to all who called, your support really matters.

President should Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

February 15, 2014 Letter to the Editor, Lafayette Advertiser

Editorial opinion in The Advertiser on Feb 9, 2014 in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline misses a hugely important point, as does most commentary on the proposed pipeline project. Contrary to oil and fossil fuel industry interests which are confined to promoting short term growth within their industries, the President is charged with broader concerns including the long term prosperity, safety and security of the country. This has to include planning for adaptation to the effects of climate change and reduction of those effects where possible.

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