Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Orleans City Council approves Entergy's gas-fired plant in New Orleans East

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 6:20 PM

New Orleans East residents appeared in City Hall to oppose construction of an Entergy plant. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • New Orleans East residents appeared in City Hall to oppose construction of an Entergy plant.

Dozens of New Orleans East residents filled New Orleans City Council’s newly opened chambers in City Hall to challenge Entergy’s plans to build a 128-megawatt, gas-fired power plant in Michoud.

After six hours of public comments and contentious exchanges, the New Orleans City Council approved those plans by a vote of 6-1.

Councilmembers hoped to address immediate concerns about the city’s inability to generate power after routine power outages have underscored a need for local power, particularly when demand is high. But opponents said construction of a new plant is not guaranteed to solve ongoing issues with outages, while residents foot the bill for its construction and fear pollution and other environmental impacts.

Guidry was the only “no” vote against the resolution at the Council’s Feb. 21 Utilities Committee meeting; she also was the councilmember to vote against it among the seven City Councilmembers at today’s meeting.

“I have watched Entergy drag their feet over and over again,” said Guidry, illustrating an energy monopoly that refuses to invest in anything but “traditional power” and has put the City Council into a corner when it doesn’t agree to the Council’s regulatory demands. “We have been given one option by Entergy: a fossil fuel plant.”

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Orleans, home of the largest oil and gas lease sale

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 6:40 PM


In 2018, nearly 77 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico will be up for grabs in what's likely to be the largest-ever oil and gas lease sale in the U.S.

The sale opens to offshore-drilling oil companies water off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida, as well as previously unleased areas in the Gulf's Outer Continental Shelf, encompassing an area the size of New Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The sale is scheduled for March 2018 in New Orleans.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

State of emergency issued for New Orleans as Tropical Storm Nate prepares to enter Gulf of Mexico

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5. - NOAA/NWS
  • Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has declared a state of emergency for New Orleans, which could endure heavy rains and winds as Tropical Storm Nate moves into the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.

By early Saturday morning, Nate is expected to move into the Gulf, where the National Weather Service (NWS) expects the storm will strengthen to Category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall on Sunday.

City officials expect the storm to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain over the weekend, and the NWS warns "the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the Florida panhandle." A hurricane watch and storm surge watch will likely be issued Friday.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

City and state officials announce meetings to address issues from Aug. 5 flood

Posted By on Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 6:54 PM

A van drives through Mid-City floodwaters Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A van drives through Mid-City floodwaters Aug. 5.

One day after a drenching flood that seemed to catch people, politicians, pumps and all of New Orleans by surprise, city and state officials announced investigations into municipal response, while Sewerage & Water Board president Cedric Grant insisted, "We are dealing with 8 to 10 inches of rain in three hours. It is not going to be able to pump that in an hour.”

Six members of the New Orleans City Council held a press conference this afternoon to announce a special council meeting for 1 p.m. Tuesday to "express their concerns and pose questions to the Sewerage and Water Board and appropriate City officials," according to a statement from the council.

City Councilwoman At-Large Stacy Head, who has been openly critical of catch basin and utility maintenance in recent weeks, was not at today's meeting and was said to be out of town. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is in Aspen, Colorado, for a security conference, according to Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni, and will be returning to the city Monday.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Landrieu adopts plan to combat effects of climate change in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 1:30 PM

A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues.

New Orleans will aim to reduce emissions by 50 percent in 2030, as Mayor Mitch Landrieu and city officials commit to the international agreement on climate change from which President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S.

After declaring the dramatic effects of climate change on south Louisiana an "existential threat" facing New Orleans, Landrieu unveiled an ambitious "Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans," which proposes 11 strategies and 25 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide. He also signed an executive order committing to the goals as guided by the action plan.

"Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our coastal communities, nation and world,” Landrieu said in a statement. “In New Orleans, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion and sea level rise. If unchecked, New Orleans, like many coastal cities, will be forced to retreat. This strategy will help us transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth.”

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Performances, artist talks reflect on Louisiana's coastal crisis

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Tina Freeman's photographs at "Living With Climate Change" at the River House in Poydras.
  • Tina Freeman's photographs at "Living With Climate Change" at the River House in Poydras.

Louisiana is in the middle of an existential crisis. The state braces for more impacts to its already-decimated coasts and prepares for massive cuts programs that preserve them, while answering to elected officials' ongoing denial of climate change as they rubber stamp oil production. This weekend, pair of shows — on either sides of New Orleans' dual waterways — brings attention to south Louisiana's dependence on and increasing vulnerability to them, as the realities of climate change and environmental degradation threaten the future of the communities relying on them.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Scientists and fishermen share Deepwater Horizon stories at Feb. 6 event

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 1:08 PM

An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.
  • An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.

At a live storytelling event held Monday, Feb. 6, oceanographers, restoration ecologists and fishermen take the stage to share personal accounts of their experiences during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when over 130 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in the largest spill in U.S. history. The show is sponsored by the Story Collider podcast, which organizes and records storytelling events related to science.

As President Donald Trump's public comments on energy continue to reflect a pro-drilling stance, events like this can highlight some of drilling's risks for coastal communities, including ongoing struggles for Gulf animals, fish and plants and an estimated $94.7 million cost to area commercial fishermen.

The free event takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Club XLIV and Encore at Champions Square. Registration is recommended.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Editorial: Our pledge to you

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President-elect Donald Trump.

America’s political landscape will change dramatically after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017. Already there are mixed messages coming from his transition team as to some of the promises he made while running. For now, we can only go by the man’s words and how they may affect Louisianans.

In the weeks and months to come, we will be keeping an eye on the following:

• The president-elect has promised to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but has provided few details. As of mid-November, more than 339,000 previously uninsured Louisianans are receiving health care through the ACA. We promise to outline their options and find out from doctors which screenings, tests and procedures they should get done now should the ACA go away — with a special focus on women's health care. (Meanwhile, the open enrollment period continues through the end of January; visit ldh.louisiana.gov.)

• The president-elect has made it clear that he does not believe in climate change and promises to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and key environmental protections. We promise to speak out for clean air, clean water and Louisiana’s fragile coast.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Art activists Liberate Tate present "Insides/Outsides" talk in New Orleans Oct. 18

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Liberate Tate's "Human Cost" installation. - AMY SCAIFE
  • Liberate Tate's "Human Cost" installation.

The activist art collective Liberate Tate, best known for its unsanctioned and guerrilla-ish installations and performances in London’s prestigious Tate Galleries, delivers a “lecture-performance” at Pelican Bomb Gallery X next week in an event presented by Bureau of Change.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

On the Clock: Bob MacLean, Audubon Nature Institute senior veterinarian

Posted By on Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Katie Christiensen hangs with Southern white rhino Macite, one of veterinarian Bob MacLean's patients.
  • Katie Christiensen hangs with Southern white rhino Macite, one of veterinarian Bob MacLean's patients.

In a metal outdoor stall adjacent to her enclosure, the 5,000 pound, 53-year-old Southern white rhino Macite bumps her big prehistoric head lightly against the bars. The horn at the end of her nose looks like an ancient relic, but she scrapes her giant flat feet in the dust just like a cow shuffling in a pen on a hot day. 

Around Macite’s enormous backside, veterinarian Bob MacLean uses a hand brush and a gel to clean, disinfect and pack the chronic pressure sores (similar to human bedsores) on the elderly rhino’s back legs. She’s thought to be the oldest living female of her kind, and MacLean’s team is doing its best to keep the sores from growing. It’s part of a litany of tasks large and small that make up his role as senior veterinarian for the Audubon Nature Institute

“We’re trying to keep it from going systemic,” he says, as he finishes rinsing the sore. “We’re treating her every day.” 

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