Louisiana Fishermen Join Environmental Activists to Protest New LNG Terminals

President Donald J. Trump participates in a walking tour of Cameron LNG Export Terminal Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Hackberry, La. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The proliferation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals across the state has been hailed by the state’s Republican leaders and Gov. John Bel Edwards as an excellent economic opportunity for the state. However, the state’s fisheries have a different view. Earlier this month, a flotilla of shrimp and fishing boats protested the planned construction of two new LNG terminals.

Venture Global currently already operates one terminal and has another under construction in Cameron Parish, and plans to add two more. Sempra-Cameron LNG also operates a terminal in Cameron Parish, with another awaiting construction, and Commonwealth LNG has similarly proposed a terminal.

According to Cameron Parish shrimper Travis Dardar, the construction sites and intensive dredging required for the terminals can decimate the fishing industry nearby. According to Dardar, Venture Global’s proposed construction covers the entire fishing grounds where he now earns his living.

“This plant pretty much covers the entire fishing grounds,” Dardar said in a video published by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade on Facebook. “If they build the next one only a couple hundred feet from our property, they’ll be rattling the pictures off the wall … In jeopardy would be an understatement. I feel like it’s over,” Dardar said. “I mean, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, you know?”

During the protest, the small flotilla of fishing boats motored in front of the Golden Nugget Casino where the 2022 Americas LNG & Gas Summit took place. Signs hanging from one commercial shrimp boat read “More LNG? No fracking way. Save the Gulf.”

Proponents of LNG – including Gov. Edwards – have pointed to LNG as a cleaner alternative to coal, and a way to help meet the energy needs of the country that wind and solar power aren’t yet meeting.

“As the world’s population grows from 7.5 billion to 10 billion over the next 30 years, it will take wind, solar, geothermal, fossil fuels, and others to provide energy to the masses,” said Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Mike Moncla, noting that Louisiana is now set to be one of the world’s leading exporters. “Liquified natural gas is one of the cleanest, most efficient means of energy that our planet offers.”

Demand for American liquid natural gas has exploded since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has thrust much of Europe into an energy crisis. In response, American energy companies are planning immense, quick expansions of their production and export abilities in order to meet the demand.

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