LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA — On Friday, after years of grassroots organizing by community advocates, the Biden administration announced a pause on reviewing applications for new liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities. These facilities — the majority of which are located alongside low-income communities and communities of color — compress fracked gas into a dense liquid that can be shipped around the world, polluting nearby air, lands, and waters. The U.S. is already the world’s largest exporter of LNG, and expansion of these projects would put frontline communities at even greater risk.
This pause is a major win for the environmental justice movement, and for frontline organizers along the Gulf Coast who have been standing up against the expansion of LNG exports for years.
Roishetta Ozane, Founder and Director of The Vessel Project, has been a leader in the fight to stop LNG and petrochemical expansion, alongside other grassroots organizations such as Rise St. James, The Descendants Project, and Inclusive Louisiana.
“This decision is a significant milestone in the fight for climate justice,” Roishetta said. “The gas industry’s LNG projects, which involve toxic plants, pipelines, and storage tanks, have been causing health and environmental harms in communities affected by economic disenfranchisement and systemic racism. The pause is legally bulletproof and the most effective approach to halt these facilities, as outright rejection would be overturned in court.”
The Vessel Project is a mutual aid organization in southwestern Louisiana, dedicated to educating community members and holding industries, financial institutions, and governments accountable for the rampant pollution of frontline communities caused by fossil fuel-related and petrochemical projects.
As a member of the 2022 cohort of Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders, Roishetta is part of a global network of thousands of grassroots women leaders working to protect and advocate for communities and the Earth in the face of environmental destruction and the climate crisis.
Friday’s announcement represents a huge step forward in the climate justice movement, but the fight isn’t over. Roishetta shared that efforts are now focused on advocating for frontline community involvement in decision-making and the reinstatement of the ban on fossil fuel exports.
Communications and Development Manager
Women’s Earth Alliance