Proposed New Orleans East power plant met with opposition

Proposed New Orleans East power plant met with opposition

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The groups that are opposed to building a new power plant at the site of the an old power plant will meet at a church in New Orleans East to discuss their position.

Meanwhile Entergy says building a new plant is the only way to save customers money.

Entergy says the proposed plant would increase it's capacity to provide power to it's over 300,000 customers in Orleans Parish.

The groups that oppose the planned power plant including the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

Among their concerns is whether a new plant is even needed and what effect the proposed power plant could have on groundwater in the area.

Another concern is the price tag for the power plant, opposition groups are afraid customers will be stuck with the bill.

Entergy says the plant, if approved, would be complete by 2019 and add a charge of nearly $6.00 to individual customers' bills.

"There are a lot of reasons why we need to build this plant," said Charles Rice, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans.

"First and foremost, it is the lowest cost options for our customers. We've looked at a variety of issues and one that we always have to take into account is what can our customers afford and in this particular case, after years of study, it was determined that this was the lowest cost option for our customers."

"If we are not allowed to build this plant, it could be very costly for our customers," Rice added.

Monique Harden, is an attorney representing the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

"Why would you put a plant so close to where people are living in New Orleans East that have all of these dangerous effects," Harden asks.

"Why would you propose to hit the city of New Orleans with a $216-million dollar construction project that all of us customers will have to pay for? It doesn't make sense to us."

The opposition groups will meet at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church Tuesday.

The decision whether to build the power plant rests on the shoulders of New Orleans City Council, they're expected to make one in April.

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