CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It was a big day in Cameron Parish where LNG exports are now underway at Cheniere Energy.
Cheniere LNG held a celebration Monday at its Sabine Pass liquefaction facility. Speakers included Gov. John Bel Edwards, U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany and U.S. Sen. David Vitter.
The facility exports liquid natural gas to countries such as to Spain and Britain.
Although portions of the project are still under construction, the first export of LNG was shipped in February. It was the first LNG exported from the contiguous United States.
In Johnson Bayou, just down the road from Cheniere, the facility is building a new, "high quality" subdivision that will start with about 20 homes to be offered to some of its new employees.
Edwards said it's a great day for Louisiana and the country.
The $20 billion infrastructure at Cheniere means $2.4 billion in wages and 30,000 jobs nationwide - 6,400 in Louisiana. In all, the company is hiring 600 new employees locally.
"There's an energy revolution going on in our country. It's going to benefit everybody but the epicenter really is in Louisiana in many ways and leading that effort is Cheniere Energy with a $20 billion investment in Southwest Louisiana, where obviously we've started exporting liquefied natural gas to the rest of the world, leading the way in terms of economic development investment, job creation," Edwards said.
State Rep. Gene Reynolds, who used to be the principal at Johnson Bayou High School, said Cheniere has done great things for the community, especially after Hurricane Rita.
"During those days, with the school destroyed, had it not been for Cheniere, and their generosity and compassion for the people of Cameron Parish, I don't know what we'd do. You know, if you're destroyed, and you have to get your infrastructure back in schools, and they stepped in and did what they had to do to get the schools up and running so residents could come back and resettled," he said.
And so the business of exporting the gas so plentiful here has begun - helping to provide access to energy all over the world