The Louisiana Climate Debacle

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2015 has been a year of striking news on Earth’s climate. The year is the warmest on record, taking that honor from 2014. Among many related bits of disturbing news, glaciers are showing increased retreat, including a major destabilization in Greenland that scientists say will add to higher sea-level rise for decades to come.

These trends have gone largely unremarked in Louisiana, especially by state policymakers. To an outside observer, this might seem strange. Our state is already experiencing one of the highest rates of sea-level rise in the world, due to the combination of global ocean levels and local subsidence (sinking) of deltaic soils. We also have one of the world’s most endangered coasts, and estimates for the cost of repairing it range on the low end from $50 to $70 billion dollars, which the state cannot fund alone.

Sierra Club Delta Chapter End of Year 2015 Newsletter


In the newsletter you will find contacts for chapter officers and group leaders, Louisiana legislative report, Katrina at 10 years, Earl's Pearls, other items of interest and candidate statements for election to the 2016 - 2017 Delta Chapter Executive Committee.

Click here to see the Delta Chapter 2015 End of Year Newsletter

Press Release - Environmental challenge to La. coal terminal settles out of court

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Environmental Organizations targeting a coal export terminal in Louisiana under the Clean Water Act moved to settle out of court Aug. 18 after the facility's backers agreed to a series of financial and environmental protection obligations.

The parties filed a consent decree on Aug. 18, appealing for a stay to the case under an agreement that United Bulk Terminals Davant, LLC would meet a collection of requirements laid out in the settlement.

The initial legal challenge was filed by environmental advocacy groups, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Gulf Restoration Network, and Sierra Club, in March 2014 following allegations that the facility "spilled significant amounts of coal and petroleum coke" at its export terminal in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The settlement was celebrated by local environmental groups as a step towards accountability.

The New Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rules - Letter to the Editor

June 3, 2014

The proposed reductions in carbon emissions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have drawn predictable responses from lobbyists and some politicians. But rhetoric won't help Louisiana - we have to face facts. Our state is the one most at risk from sea-level rise. Our coastal problem is exacerbated by a combination of local sinking of the land and global rise in sea-levels. A substantial body of scientific research shows that current sea-level rise is being fueled by the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and that human activities are the chief reason for this increase.

National Hiking Day 2014 - Press Release

June 3, 2014

National Hiking Day 2014: A Time to Celebrate the Outdoors – And the Need for Conservation Funding

Lafayette – The Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club marked the occasion of National Hiking Day – June 7, 2014 – with a reminder of the importance of Louisiana’s great outdoors and the critical need to maintain public funding for conservation.

Time for Louisiana to Recognize Climate Change and its Consequences for the State

This letter was read by Sierra Club Delta Chapter Chair Woody Martin at the April 16, 2014 meeting of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click the attachment to see the letter. 

Sierra Club Delta Chapter Comments, SASOL Industrial Complex

Sierra Club Delta Chapter
P.O. Box 52503
Lafayette, Louisiana 70505

March 27, 2014

LDEQ Public Participation Group
P.O. Box 4313
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4313

Re: AI Number 3271, Permit Number GTL and LCCP, Activity Number PER20130016 through PER20130031, and Water Permit Number LA 0003336 and Activity Number PER20130015

Sierra Club Delta Chapter submits the following comments regarding proposed air and water discharge permits for the SASOL North America Inc. Lake Charles Chemical Complex

Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

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. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University makes the point that the recently released US State Department report on the Keystone XL fails to address the issue that if the US is to do its share to meet the internationally agreed target of no more than 2 degrees C average global temperature rise, then the country has to control emissions of greenhouse gases to levels that are within an emissions budget including limits on carbon. Development of conventional coal, oil and gas resources is already happening at levels which will cause average temperatures to exceed 2 degrees C. So any approval of a new pathway for development of large scale unconventional sources such as the Canadian tar sands would be a wrong step down the path that leads to the consequences of a destabilized global climate. Louisiana and its coast are especially vulnerable to these effects. If the President chooses to exercise his authority in the best interest of our country he will reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Haywood Martin, Chair
Sierra Club Delta Chapter

Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club Statement on Keystone Pipeline Report

February 3, 2014

Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club
Statement on Keystone Pipeline Report

For Immediate Release

Contact: Haywood Martin, Chapter Chair

The U.S. State Department released its final supplemental environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, January 31, 2014. Contrary to the impression given in some media stories, this is not the end of the decision-making process. Further steps include a recommendation by the Secretary of State and review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before a final decision by President Obama.

The Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club in Louisiana has joined the national Sierra Club and many other groups, communities, and individuals in opposing construction of the pipeline. The decision on the Keystone XL pipeline represents a historic opportunity for the US to show leadership on moving away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels toward a clean energy economy.

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