Puppets & Political Theater Tell Story Of Environmental Crisis

Photo credit: Danae Columbus

A huge crowd gathered across from the Morial Convention Center on Friday, January 19 for an authentic history lesson and accompanying political theatre in support of reducing Louisiana’s dependence on fossil fuels. The history lesson told the story of South Louisiana’s origins and its first people through the eyes of Roishetta Ozane and James Hiatt, front line organizers who have been affected by the climate crisis and industrial pollution.

Sunrise New Orleans took the lead in coordinating a week-long protest to catch the attention of 3,000 oil and gas executives in town for the American Energy Summit & Exhibition where delegates described upcoming projects including a massive LNG plant already under construction in Plaquemines Parish by Venture Global.

If opened as planned in 2026, the plant will release greenhouse emissions equal value to 42,000,000 cars every year, according to event organizers. The plant will also deprive area residents of irreplaceable groundwater “leaving Louisiana’s families with barely enough water to brush their teeth.”

Venture Global’s first Louisiana plant – already in operation in Calcasieu Parish – is already destroying the local fishing industry. Fishers report that seafood is contaminated and water access is being blocked. Both actions are killing jobs.

In addition the Calcasieu plant has already wracked up over 2000 permit violations in its first year of operation.

While energy conference organizers claim to be committed to net zero admissions climate goals, scientists have already determined that if all proposed U.S. LNG plants are approved, these plants alone would produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire annual admission of the European Union.

Venture Global has already been approved for $834 million in tax exemptions over a 10-year period. Protestors are urging oil executives to stop destroying Louisiana and invest instead in renewable energy projects in including solar and wind. “Nobody in New Orleans wants yet another giant, scary, dangerous fossil fuel plant in our backyard. Those companies are trying to sell our future for a quick buck and don’t care if we live or die. We’re here to say enough is enough,” said Nick Boyd, Sunrise New Orleans organizer.

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