Renewable Energy Standards Under Attack

Organizations sympathetic to the fossil fuel industry, particularly the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have launched a nationwide campaign in state legislatures to reverse years of progress in establishing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) in states. A great article from inside climate news provides an overview of the attack and a tally of states where RPS are threatened.

Louisiana Goes for Last Place Again

On Feb 27 the Louisiana Public Service Commission vacated the state’s energy efficiency rule that had been adopted at their December meeting. The rule had been carefully crafted over a three year period in which testimony was taken from stakeholders and interested parties. The Louisiana rule had been modeled after the Arkansas rule which was widely considered to be a reasonable solution. There are 46 other states that have energy efficiency rules that require power companies to establish incentives for residential and commercial energy conservation.

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.

Environmental Groups file protest to proposed BLM leases for fracking in the Kisatchie National Forest

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Louisiana Audubon Council, Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club and seven other environmental organizations have submitted a protest to the Bureau of Land Management’s planned offering of sixty-six lease parcels at the September 13, 2012 oil and gas lease sale. The parcels are publicly owned lands in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, and areas where the federal government owns minerals beneath private lands within the boundaries of the Bienville and Homochitto National Forests in Mississippi.

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