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Bucket Brigade says Gulf Coast sacrificing environment for fossil fuel production

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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Cameron Parish, LA (KPLC) - Cameron Parish houses several LNG plants, making it one of the largest fossil fuel exporters in the country, but the Louisiana Bucket Brigade calls the LNG plants a sacrifice and abuse to the region. Members of the Bucket Brigade were in Cameron Parish Tuesday touring several LNG sites.

“If it were allowed to continue, it would create an incredible concentration in refineries that have not yet existed in this area,” said Justin Kray, a cartographer.

Kray said one of their biggest concerns is how the plants physically alter the land around them.

He said dredging to accommodate LNG cargo ships compromises natural barriers and erodes the land, making it susceptible to storm surge.

“The plants, they were relatively unscathed, but that water had to go somewhere,” Kray said. “The way we see it, is that that water had to go somewhere, and it will largely go to areas that are unprotected, which area largely residential.”

Kray said the LNG plants release toxic gases into the environment.

“The refining and cooling process generates so many green house gases,” Kray said. “It’s essentially the equivalent of a cold fire power plant.”

Jim Rock, head of the Lake Area Industry Alliance, disputes the claims of the Bucket Brigade, saying the LNG industry takes its environmental responsibility seriously.

In a statement, Rock outlined projects undertaken by the LNG industry, including the creation of tidal wetland mitigation areas, supporting coastal protection, and creating thousands of acres of new wetlands in Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, Cameron Prairie and other areas in the parish.

“(LNG facilities) have proven to be important outside our area by providing clean, secure energy to the world, which reduces carbon emissions and leads to cleaner air,” Rock said.

Rock’s full statement:

“The LNG industry has been and continues to be beneficial to Cameron Parish and its residents in a variety of ways.

Environmental responsibility is taken seriously with these facilities. Some projects include the creation of large tidal wetland mitigation areas, partnering with Coastal Conservation Association and Restore America’s Estuaries to support coastal protection and restoration. Other wetland conservation efforts have contributed to thousands of acres of new wetlands in Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, Cameron Prairie and many other areas of the parish.

Thousands of volunteer man-hours are contributed annually by employees for clean-up activities along the beaches, along the roads and even in local cemeteries.

Financial donations from LNG facilities have gone into the creation and restoration of parks and other community structures as well as a historic lighthouse.

The economic impact of the LNG industry provides begins by providing thousands of safe, good paying jobs and benefits with over $1 billion in wages for Louisiana residents. Also, many tens of millions of sales and property tax dollars are paid to the parish annually which provide the parish with abundant funds for a variety of community improvement projects.

These facilities have proven to be important outside our area by providing clean, secure energy to the world, which reduces carbon emissions and leads to cleaner air.

Cameron parish is home to great corporate partners which are having a positive impact around the globe.”

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