Groups Fight Coal-Fired Entergy Plant

     BATON ROUGE (CN) – Environmental groups have appealed the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s decision to allow Entergy to convert a St. Charles Parish natural gas-burning plant to a coal-burning plant, saying the coal plant will emit millions of tons more carbon dioxide per year.

     In July 2007, Entergy applied for authorization to convert Little Gypsy Unit 3 in Montz, St. Charles Parish, from natural gas to a coal and petroleum coke-fired plant.
     Plaintiffs say the law requires the Louisiana Public Service Commission to find whether the project is Entergy’s “lowest reasonable cost alternative consistent with its obligation to provide safe and reliable electric service”.
     After a panel review found that the cost of the carbon dioxide emissions would be detrimental in the long run, Entergy replaced its original analysis with a new analysis that it called a “rebuttal.”
     Actually, the plaintiffs say, quoting from Black’s Law Dictionary, “rebuttal evidence is ‘evidence offered to disprove or contradict the evidence presented by the opposing party,’ not evidence that replaces the analysis offered in a party’s case-in-chief.” After Entergy’s “rebuttal”, the petitioners say, they were denied a motion to continue or exclude, violating their due process rights as rate payers. Had they had the opportunity, they say they would have shown that Entergy’s assumptions are not reasonable, that the project is not the lowest reasonable cost alternative and that the project is not in the public interest.
     Entergy’s construction of its “Repowering Project” will be delayed for about a year because of Entergy’s failure to show that it would install state-of-the-art technology to control hazardous air pollutants, the complaint states. “Accordingly, a remand to the commission would not prejudice Entergy. Moreover, Entergy’s construction delays and obligation to control hazardous air pollutants will make the Repowering Project even more expensive.”
     Petitioners are Alliance for Affordable Energy, Sierra Club, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Gulf Restoration Network and Sal Giardina Jr. They are represented by Corrine Van Dalen of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.

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