Louisiana Parish Embraces LNG Terminals

White pelicans flock on a public beach in Cameron Parish, La.

White pelicans flock on a public beach in Cameron Parish, La. Beyond lies the world's first deepwater LNG terminal. Debbie Elliott, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott, NPR
A cow roams free in Cameron Parish.

Laws in Cameron, Louisiana's least populous parish, allow cows to roam free. Debbie Elliott, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott, NPR

About LNG

  • LNG (liquefied natural gas) is natural gas, primarily methane, which has been cooled to its liquid state at minus 260°F
  • Liquefying natural gas reduces the volume it occupies by more than 600 times, making it a practical size for storage and transportation
  • LNG (the liquid itself) is not flammable or explosive
  • LNG vapor (methane) is colorless, odorless and non-toxic. Methane can become an asphyxiant when it displaces the amount of oxygen that humans need for breathing

From California to Alabama, coastal residents around the country are fighting proposals to put liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals near their communities because of safety concerns. But Cameron Parish, La., is welcoming the controversial LNG terminals — and the jobs they bring — with open arms.

At least five LNG plants are in the works in Cameron Parish or off its shores. Cameron Parish is already home to a new LNG facility, where special tankers convert the liquid back into gas and offload it into a buoy pipeline system that takes it to shore. At least five more LNG plants are in the works in Cameron or off its shores.

Located in the southwest corner of Louisiana, Cameron is the state's largest parish by land, but its least populated, with less than 10,000 residents. The oil and gas industries have long been Cameron Parish's economic lifelines. Many in the community see liquefied natural gas as an extension of that tradition — and hope the jobs that LNG terminals bring will reverse the trend of residents moving away to find work.

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