EPA investigates Louisiana environmental, health agencies for racial discrimination in issuing air pollution permits by Mark Schleifstein
They come five months after EPA Administrator Michael Regan promised a crackdown on permitting decisions along Louisiana’s chemical corridor. Environmental Groups have long called that area “Cancer Alley,” due to federal studies that show higher concentrations of airborne pollutants and more instances of cancer in that region than elsewhere in the state.
Originally published by Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
As climate report warns of fossil fuel industry growth, Louisiana has several projects on the way by Halle Parker
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to report overwhelming evidence that fossil-fueled global warming is increasing at faster rates than earlier predicted. Without quickly phasing out fossil fuels, the United States will fall far from its 2030 emission goals and drag the world deeper into a state of climate emergency.
But the Biden Administration has yet to use his full authority under existing law to stop approving new fossil fuel leases, exports and infrastructure and declare a climate emergency to rapidly build out renewables and protect vulnerable communities Troublingly, Biden and the United Nations also continue to sell communities false “solutions” like Carbon Capture and Storage, or CCS – a dangerous delay tactic championed by the fossil fuel industry and other polluters to continue business-as-usual while taking resources away from the needed transition to clean, cheaper renewable energy.
Project would give backup power to select corporate customers
Entergy has proposed a new project to give backup generators to grocery stores and other commercial customers across the state to form micro-grids that can be used during outages and peak demand times, but the utility company wants the rest of its customers to pay for them.
“As currently proposed, I do not find the costs and benefits of the program are being allocated in a manner that is just and reasonable to non-host customers,” PSC regulatory expert Lane Sisung said in his recommendation to commissioners not to certify the program.
“To think that some of the largest most powerful companies in the state would be benefiting from something when the residents and everyone else are already paying exorbitant rates is just absurd to me,” AAE Executive Director Logan Burke said.
Even as the costs of methane gas continue to rise, in turn increasing the cost of electricity in the region, Entergy Louisiana is requesting the go-ahead from the Louisiana Public Service Commission for the right to contract with large commercial and industrial customers to install new gas fired generators in a neighborhood near you. Maybe.
Among the many reasons the Alliance is concerned about this new application, including continued investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, new costs borne by residents, new localized emissions within neighborhoods, and an increased dependence on methane gas for electricity generation (the state currently generates 70% of electricity from the fossil fuel), the ability for the utility to side-step the Commission’s market based mechanisms designed to ensure Entergy purchases or provides the lowest-cost power, we worry that the utility and “host” customers who would participate in this program would resist public visibility into the placement of these facilities. And since some of these projects would be small enough to evade air emissions permitting, you simply wouldn’t know if your community is now home to a gas peaker plant.
Allies and Supporters,
I have made the decision to resign from my position as State Policy Director with the Alliance for Affordable Energy. My deepest gratitude goes out to all of you that I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from. I can assure you this was not an easy decision.
As some may know, I was offered a position in the New Orleans’ Council Utility Regulatory Office as an Energy Policy Analyst, and I’m very much looking forward to advancing the City’s clean energy goals and advocating for the City’s utility customers, especially the most vulnerable. I imagine I’ll be seeing many familiar faces in my new role, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you.
If you would like to reach me, my personal email is JMaloneHendricks@gmail.com, and I look forward to staying in touch.
Thank you for all of the work you do, and please keep it up! In a State with some of the highest rates of energy insecurity, this work is invaluable to so many, especially in a State so vulnerable to the worst impacts of Climate Change.
Until next time,
By Ishita Yadav, AAE Intern
As residential electricity bills increase, conducting energy efficiency improvements on your home will help protect you from the financial impact of the unpredictable increases that will impact ratepayers. The savings you achieve from a single energy-efficient appliance may seem small on its own, but in most cases, the premium price you pay will be more than offset by your energy savings in the long-run.