Fishermen, shrimpers protest America’s LNG and Gas Summit in Lake Charles

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 8:44 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Local and state leaders consider America’s LNG and Gas Summit and Exhibition something to be proud of.

Others want to be in the limelight too, but in opposition to LNG.

Hundreds from all over the world are attending the LNG and Gas summit at the Golden Nugget, and many local officials are proud to see this area called the LNG export capital of the world.

Ernie Broussard of Lake Charles works for a company that supports the LNG sector.

“This world conference, this gives us an incredible platform to showcase the strength of the community, and to show the world that we can handle multi-billion dollar projects and that we stand ready to be the centerpiece for LNG in the entire country,” said Broussard.

Yet, what some consider a move toward greater prosperity, others consider destructive and harmful to their homes, livelihood and life as they know it. They held a boat parade outside the summit, hoping those inside would get the message.

Cameron fisherman Travis Dardar explained why he participated.

“They are running us over. They are building on top of our fishing grounds, which in their minds they think it’s not going to affect the fishing, when common sense tells you fishing will be over with,” he said.

Jack Reno Sweeney of Baton Rouge is with Louisiana Bucket Brigade who came to Lake Charles.

“We wanted to be sure they knew that locals including the locals and fishers and shrimpers who are huge part of their culture know they are opposed to their buildout here,” said Sweeney.

About 15 boats, including several commercial shrimp boasts from Cameron were there along with people waving signs or banners. The flotilla lasted about an hour.

Jason French is the executive director of the LNG Center of Excellence at McNeese State. He said the naysayers don’t have the facts.

“One of the comments that I heard from the protestors is, ‘This is just all about enriching foreign companies and creating investment for natural gas investors,’ couldn’t be farther from the truth. Probably 1200 people working in active LNG facilities in Louisiana know the economic impact of this, the countless Louisiana businesses that are benefiting from the $34 billion of investment in the region.”

Still, opponents say they are not going anywhere.

“The fishermen will fight before they take everything we have. We will fight,” said Dardar.

“We’re not going to let them come in without a fight,” said Sweeney.

The LNG and Gas summit wraps up Thursday.