LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club on Wednesday filed a petition seeking to intervene in Entergy Arkansas’ request for regulatory approval of a rate increase that would add about $13 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club on Wednesday filed a petition seeking to intervene in Entergy Arkansas’ request for regulatory approval of a rate increase that would add about $13 to the average residential customer’s monthly bill.


Entergy filed its proposed $167 million rate increase with the state Public Service Commission on April 24. The utility says it needs the increase to cover the cost of acquiring a natural gas plant and the cost of bringing its Independence and White Bluff coal-fired power plants into compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, or MATS, rule, among other things.


The Sierra Club said in its filing Wednesday, "Sierra Club members, as well as Sierra Club itself, have an interest in ensuring that Entergy Arkansas’ investment in Mercury and Air Toxics Standards compliance does not adversely affect the company’s ability to prudently plan for, and comply with, all current and impending environmental compliance regulations."


The Public Service Commission’s ruling in the rate case could affect the Sierra Club’s interests, the group argued.


"The commission’s ruling in this proceeding may, for example, impact the pace of the shift in Arkansas away from heavily polluted forms of energy generation (above all, coal) and toward cleaner resources, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency," the Sierra Club said in its petition.


The group also noted many of its members are residential ratepayers who would be affected economically by the proposed rate hike.


A spokeswoman for Entergy Arkansas declined to comment Wednesday on the Sierra Club’s filing.