Louisiana and Mississippi Forests Being Razed to Make Electricity in Europe

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Traveling highway I-10 over the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge may have noticed two huge white golf ball looking structures at Port Allen, just to the north on the west side of the river crossing. While they do add something to the drab industrial view of refineries, cranes and barges, they foretell a bleak future for southeastern forests. The structures will store up to 80,000 metric tons of wood pellets manufactured by Drax Biomass that will come from Louisiana and Mississippi harvested forests. The wood pellets are destined to be shipped to Europe for burning for generation of electricity. It is eerily appropriate that the company name is the same as Drax the Destroyer, a fictional superhero character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Bad Projects Never Die – The Washington Parish Reservoir

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US Army Corps of Engineers has received an application for a 404 permit to dam up Bogue Lusa Creek approximately 5.8 miles south of the city of Sheridan and conduct mechanized land clearing for the creation of an approximately 3,262 acre reservoir in Washington Parish, Louisiana. The applicant’s stated project purpose is to provide water, recharge aquifers and provide recreation areas and economic development opportunities… The impoundment would produce a long, thin, five finger lake 5.5 miles long and up to 3,000 ft wide.

Can Coastal Communities Survive?

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The New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club will host Dr. Shirley Laska from University of New Orleans on Sunday, January 11, 2015 for her presentation: "Gulf coastal communities: Can they survive until coastal restoration is a reality?"

Major Victory Against RAM Coal Export Terminal

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Louisiana community leaders and environmental organizations won a major victory against a proposed coal export terminal when a Plaquemines Parish district court revoked a Coastal Use Permit granted by Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Parish residents have been fighting coal shipping terminals for years.

The lawsuit was brought by residents of the Ironton community and Sierra Club Delta Chapter, Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Environmental Action Network against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for illegally granting a coastal use permit to RAM Terminals, LLC to build a coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish. This victory spares residents from the air and water pollution, property-value loss and coal-train traffic that the coal shipping facility would bring.

Job Advertisement - Conservation Program Manager

Job advertisement as follows:

Conservation Program Manager
Sierra Club Delta Chapter in Louisiana

Compensation: $42,000 annual plus benefits
Reports to: Delta Chapter Chair
Work Setting: Mobile office, in state travel

The Sierra Club Delta Chapter seeks an experienced, self-directed, and collaborative staff person to join our statewide organization supporting Sierra Club environmental objectives. The staff person would organize and implement conservation programs, campaigns, and initiatives according to priorities set by the Executive Committee. Current priorities are reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, native forest protection, wetlands protection and air/water quality. The staff person would participate in the development of program strategies and conduct fundraising and volunteer recruitment activities organized around conservation objectives.

Another Louisiana Scenic River Saved From The Frackers

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Sierra Club has been notified that Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has denied a request from Comstock Resources to withdraw 12,600,000 gallons of water from the Amite River in East Feliciana Parish for use in fracking for oil and gas. The water would have been withdrawn from the Scenic River, used for fracking and then disposed as hazardous waste.

Forest Wright Statement to Supporters of his Campaign for Louisiana Public Service Commission District 1

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In the past, Public Service Commission races have generated little to no interest... until now.

Because of you, this was one of the most followed and hotly contested races in Louisiana this year. Election night results had us separated by a slim margin, just 50.85% to 49.15%. This was an astounding achievement against a heavily favored incumbent spending nearly unlimited campaign cash and heavily backed by utilities companies and a political machine desperately clinging to the status quo.

Forest Wright for LPSC District 1 in the Dec 6 runoff election

Congratulations to our friend Forest Bradley Wright who on Nov 4 took the most votes in Public Service Commission District 1. Forest took 38.46% vs Eric Skrmetta's 36.95%. Third place finisher Al Leone took 24.58% so he will drop out and the two leaders will go to a runoff election on Dec 6. Erik Skrmetta is the incumbent for District 1 and has been the chair of the commission this year. Mr. Skrmetta has shown himself to be dead set against renewable energy, solar, energy efficiency or anything other than burning fossil fuels. And he admits to taking most of his campaign contributions from the utilities that he is supposed to be regulating. There are only five seats on the Louisiana Public Service Commission. So electing Forest could make a huge positive difference in energy policy for Louisiana.

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