Don’t Allow Pipeline Through Sensitive Bayou Habitat

Target: John Neely Kennedy, Senator of Louisiana

Goal: Don’t allow a company to build pipeline after judge denied their permit.

The Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana is being built despite not having a permit. The company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, is continuing construction—even though a state judge denied their permit. The 162- mile pipeline is going to damage the surrounding area of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin.

The animals and the environment are going to suffer greatly due to this pipeline. It needs to be stopped. We cannot allow Energy Transfer Partners to destroy this beautiful basin and kill the animals that inhabit the area. Demand that Louisiana stops this company from their illegal construction of this pipeline and punishes them for not following the law.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Kennedy,

The Bayou Bridge pipeline is being built in Louisiana after a state judge denied the company’s permit. The company responsible is Energy Transfer Partners. They are continuing to build the pipeline despite having a permit. They are breaking the law and it is going to have a disastrous outcome for the animals and environment in the area. Many animals reside in this area. Affecting their homes and destroying populations of animals are going to have negative effects on our environment and ecosystem.

The pipeline would allow transport of explosive Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to surrounding areas. A state judge ruled that the permit issued failed to consider impacts that it would have on St. James. There are more than 150 industrial plants and refineries in this area. This company is not listening to the court system and needs to be punished. We demand that Energy Transfer Partners are stopped in developing the pipeline and they are punished for not obeying the law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: JULIE DERMANSKY

Stop Invasive Species from Destroying Countless Rare Ecosystems

Target: Secretary Chuck Carr Brown, PhD., Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Fund research for removal of invasive Cuban treefrogs.

Invasive Cuban treefrogs, once limited to Florida, have now spread into southern Louisiana. This invasive species has established a population that threatens native treefrog species and the entire food web.

Cuban treefrogs are native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands, but due to trade and travel have established invasive populations in Florida and some U.S. territories. Populations in Florida have been established since approximately the 1950s, but had yet to move outside this state. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently discovered the first established population of Cuban treefrogs in the continental U.S. outside of Florida. This population was found at the Audubon Zoo in Louisiana, over 430 miles from nearest known population of this invasive species. Cuban treefrogs displace or eat native treefrog species and cause a general nuisance to homeowners, including laying eggs in birdbaths and landscaping, secreting a noxious substance from their skin, and even causing power outages from seeking refuge in utility boxes. The extent of their damage to ecosystems by displacing native treefrogs could be extensive, since native treefrogs are both predator and prey in the food chain. In addition, the location of the newly discovered invasive population is in close proximity to the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, which is a large tract of public land that if invaded could provide a corridor for this species to easily invade many other areas and ecosystems.

These invasive treefrogs are displacing native species and could cause irreparable harm to the ecosystems. Their continued survival in their most recently discovered location could result in further invasion into nearby nature preserves, using these larger tracts of land to access and damage even more ecosystems. Sign the petition for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to fund research into the impacts of these invasive species and methods to safely remove them from their environment and prevent their spread into other areas.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Brown,

The recent discovery of Cuban treefrogs in Louisiana is cause for concern for Louisiana’s native treefrog species. After decades of maintaining only populations in Florida, this invasive species has established itself elsewhere in the continental U.S. for the first time, over 430 miles from the closest known Cuban treefrog population.

This invasive species displaces native treefrogs and causes nuisances to homeowners. The presence of Cuban treefrogs could cause significant impacts to the ecosystem, since the native treefrogs they displace act as prey and predator in the food chain and impacts to them could cause impacts the whole system. Their proximity to the Barataria Preserve of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is also concerning. Once these invasive treefrogs establish themselves in this large protected area, they will be able to easily disrupt many more ecosystems.

It is imperative that these treefrogs be limited in their establishment on the continental U.S. Please fund research to determine the impacts of the Cuban treefrogs on our ecosystems and limit their invasion and displacement of crucial native treefrog species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Munkel

Do Not Make Pipeline Protests Illegal

Target: Taylor F. Barras, Louisiana Speaker of the House

Goal: Do not pass a broadly defined bill that could make the act of planning to participate in a pipeline protest illegal.

Louisiana and two other states—Minnesota and Pennsylvania—are attempting to crack down on pipeline protests by making the very act of planning to participate in one illegal. While it is already against the law to trespass on property owned by energy companies responsible for laying down pipelines, a newly proposed bill would go one step further and allow would-be protesters to face severe penalties for merely ‘conspiring’ to protest in the first place. In a state with a long history of battles against major oil companies, this law could silence demonstrators once and for all.

Inspired in part by the success of protesters in North Dakota in impeding progress on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Louisiana activists have staged their own protests against the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in that state, which could endanger the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of residents. These actions have resulted in a backlash in the fossil fuel industry and the political groups they are allied with, resulting in the creation of this unfair bill that could label any group of two or more individuals planning to protest at a pipeline site as ‘conspiring’ to break the law. Even if they never disrupt operations or vandalize property, they could still face serious penalties, including arrest and time spent in jail.

Louisiana must not approve such a harsh law that could so severely restrict its citizens’ First Amendment rights. Tell the Louisiana Speaker of the House that this fossil fuel industry-backed bill must be rejected.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Barras,

We are writing to urge you to reject a recently introduced bill that proposes to penalize people guilty of ‘conspiring’ to enter property owned by energy companies to protest pipeline construction. Trespassing and vandalization are already illegal in the state of Louisiana, making this new legislation designed to protect these companies’ assets completely unnecessary.

Protesters have a constitutionally sanctioned right to express their concerns regarding pipeline construction and other potentially environmentally damaging actions. That is why we, the undersigned, demand that you do not allow them to be fined or arrested for simply planning demonstrations without causing any actual harm to property or infrastructure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bart Everson

Justice for Dog Burned by Chemicals

Target: Greg Champagne, Sheriff of Louisiana’s St. Charles District

Goal: Find and prosecute animal abuser who doused innocent dog with chemicals.

An innocent dog was found near death, covered with horrific chemical burns in a Louisiana flower bed. The owner of the flower bed rushed the dog to the animal hospital, thankfully ensuring the animal’s survival, but the damage done is severe, and it is said that his recovery will be “long and painful.” According to reports, the dog was purposefully doused with dangerous chemicals and left for dead. Unfortunately, the culprit has yet to be found or identified.

We cannot let this criminal remain at large. It is all too clear that whoever they are, they intended to kill this dog slowly and painfully; it was a major stroke of luck that the poor creature was rescued in time to save his life, but the damage done is still monumental. Also unknown is whether or not the dog was owned by someone; there is a chance this was someone else’s pet, stolen and viciously attacked.

PETA is said to be offering a big cash reward to whoever can provide them with information, and this is the only known investigation attempt thus far. We must aid in the capture of this criminal and demand they face justice. Sign this petition to see justice done for the poor dog victimized by this mysterious culprit.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Sheriff Champagne,

A local man found an innocent dog near death in his flower bed. The poor creature was covered in chemical burns due to an unknown assailant’s attempt to murder him; the dog was rushed to the animal hospital in time to save his life, but his recovery will be a long and painful process. Worse, the crime has allegedly yet to be reported to any authorities.

The culprit has yet to be identified or found, and the only known investigation attempt is PETA’s offer of a large cash reward in exchange for any information. Your state must wholly look into this incident so that the dog’s attempted murderer can be apprehended and punished as soon as possible. This innocent dog did not deserve such a brutal assault, and it is frankly a miracle he is alive right now, as chemical burns are often fatal. Please aid in finding this abuser and ensuring they face justice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: PETA