DCSIMG
Share:
 
January 15, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Yolanda Pollard
Entergy
ypollar@entergy.com
Tanya J. Wojtowych
(PNDSA)
(509) 543-2054
Dr. Zach Willey
(Environmental Defense)
(541) 317-8424
Entergy Announces Intent to Work With Direct Seed Farmers, Environmental Defense to Help Slow Global Warming

Spokane, Wash. – Entergy Corporation, one of the nation’s leading utility companies, and the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association have combined efforts to help reduce global warming through environmentally beneficial farming practices. The Letter of Intent signed today calls for participating farmers of the PNDSA to implement new direct seed agricultural techniques in the Pacific Northwest.

Entergy would receive credit for carbon dioxide and emissions reductions achieved through direct seed agriculture which would ultimately help offset CO2 emissions from the company’s power plants in the United States. With Entergy’s support, the direct seed project would reduce over 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 10-year period.

PNDSA and Environmental Defense, a national nonprofit environmental organization, also have a cooperative agreement to investigate and encourage the adoption of environmentally beneficial farming practices. In May 2001, Entergy became the first U. S. utility company to publicly announce a commitment that the company would voluntarily take actions to stabilize its domestic greenhouse gas emissions and work with Environmental Defense to develop a long-term target to achieve additional reductions.

"Entergy is undertaking a number of internal and external projects to reduce emissions and achieve its greenhouse gas target," said Dr. Marty Smith, Entergy's climate program coordinator. "In addition to helping reduce emissions, this project affords Entergy the opportunity to make a contribution to the advancement of a new and more environmentally sound method of agriculture."

Traditional agricultural practices, in which top layers of soil are turned over and exposed, allow carbon sequestered in the soil to be oxidized and released into the atmosphere. The new direct seed technique involves cultivation and fertilization using "no-till" direct injection methods that leave the soil undisturbed and avoid the associated CO2 emissions. Additional emissions of CO2 also are permanently eliminated by reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned in farm equipment during the period of the agreement. Carbon sequestration in soils and reduced emissions of greenhouse gas pollution help slow the buildup of these gases in the atmosphere.

"This project will allow farmers to make conservation investments that will pay off for them, as well as for the planet's future," said Karl Kupers, vice president of the PNDSA and lead for negotiations on behalf of PNDSA. "We are proud to be involved in this unprecedented partnership between farmers, major industry and an environmental group. Such cooperation is critical to retooling agriculture, which must happen to ensure survival of the family farm business, the fabric of rural America and ultimately a higher quality of life for everyone."

Environmental Defense economist Dr. Zach Willey said, "These new farming practices will help protect the environment and our nation's soil resources in a sustainable manner. The project can show how best to improve farming practices and can give farmers incentives to join the fight against global warming."

Entergy Corporation, headquartered in New Orleans, La., is a major global energy company with power production, distribution operations and related diversified services. Entergy owns, manages, or invests in power plants generating more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity domestically and internationally, and delivers electricity to about 2.6 million customers in portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Through Entergy-Koch, L.P., it is also a leading provider of wholesale energy marketing and trading services. Entergy’s online address is www.entergy.com.

PNDSA, based in Pasco, Wash., is a non-profit organization providing education and assistance to farmers in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and California on the adoption of low- and no-till cultural practices in farming operations. PNDSA’s online address is www.directseed.org.

Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization based in New York, represents more than 300,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics and law to create innovative, equitable and cost-effective solutions to the most urgent environmental problems. Environmental Defense’s online address is www.environmentaldefense.org.