Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, John Aller, a geologist with decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, whom I for written earlier– Explain your concerns about another permit issue that Venture Global seems to be ignoring. The company must adhere to a strict schedule for burning torches. But Allaire, who lives just a few miles from the Calcasieu Pass facility, has witnessed a seemingly continuous burnout.
“One of the biggest concerns for me,” Allaire said, “is their permission and their declaration of environmental impact says they will not burn at night during neotropical migration of birdswhich happens in late March to late June, and that they will be watching for birds and things like that. ” Allaire observed flames “as high as the rocket itself” at night, but said there appeared to be no reports of lost birds, indicating a seeming lack of reporting.
This lack of even a major interest in accountability points not only to the failures of Venture Global, but also of LDEQ as an agency. Also in question was the amount of black smoke emanating from these flares, which Venture Global has consistently claimed to have fallen below the 20% opacity threshold required by the permit, which it easily obtained from LDEQ. Allaire suggested that the company rely on real-time monitoring using a calibrated opacity monitor instead of simply responding to citizen complaints, which includes Venture Global’s own employees, who measure opacity after the fact. The organizer of Allaire and the Southwest Louisiana Bucket Brigade, James Hyatt, wasn’t sure how much these monitor systems could cost, and frankly, I’m not either.
Although some estimates put the technology at about $ 25,000, not including training and maintenance, I was unable to find a definitive answer from any regional manufacturer of such devices. One person said that his office was empty, another transferred me to a line that closed, and my request for online information has remained unanswered. Given the notorious lack of transparency in the oil and gas industry, I doubt I will ever get an answer. And even if the opacity monitors cost twice as much as $ 25,000, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to raised Venture Global billions for its ambitions for an LNG terminal.
With plans to open one facility in Plaquemines Parish and another in Southeast Louisiana, communities cannot afford to sacrifice the entire state of Louisiana in the name of fossil fuel greed. And the world certainly can’t afford it 90 million tons more greenhouse gases are broadcast annually once these planned facilities go online.