With the status of production at the facility still unclear, a petition urging Chalmette Refining to resume the manufacture and sale of ethanol free gasoline has been started online.

Retired petrochemical chemist Alton “Pete” Landry, a self-described ethanol critic in LaPlace who operates a website detailing the dangers of ethanol, started the signature-gathering effort on Wednesday. 

“We want to keep some visibility on the issue,” Landry said. “I’m hopeful we can get 3- to 5,000 signatures on the petition. 

“Our ultimate objective is to convince Chalmette Refining to reevaluate their position and resume the manufacturing of conventional non-ethanol gas.”

In early May, there was confusion on if the refinery was completely ceasing production of conventional gas, or if it would still be produced there for the commercial market.

The situation remains unclear, but Landry hopes if enough people sign the petition, he will be able to at least sit down with the plant manager and discuss the issue to see if a solution can be reached.

“After we get a substantial number, then I’m going to try to arrange a meeting with he plant manger of Chalmette Refining and have three or four of us go up there,” he said. “So he can help us understand the issues that led up to this decision, and if there’s anything we can do to help him to change his position on that.

“I’ll print up the petition at that time and deliver it to him. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Visit Landry’s home page for detailed instructions on filling out the petition form: you must enter information for all fields, including street address, city, state and zip code.

And for your signature to be counted, you must then click on a link that will be emailed to you after completing the form.

To sign the petition, click here and go the bright orange 'Sign Petition Here' button in the upper-right corner.