Proposed pipeline provokes heated debate
NAPOLEONVILLE - Discussions over a proposed Louisiana pipeline got heated as environmentalists and oil and gas workers weighed the pros and cons.
The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would stretch from Lake Charles to St. James Parish, transporting crude oil. It would join dozens of other pipelines that already run through the Atchafalaya Basin and river parishes.
"It would be able to provide more crude," one proponent of the pipeline said.
Before work can begin, the state has to approve the project. However, many residents who live near the project say the pipeline would be dangerous.
The pipeline would tunnel under Bayou Lafourche, a major source of drinking water for Assumption Parish, Ascension Parish, and other Louisiana parishes. Supports say a pipeline is one of the safest ways to transport oil.
Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is a paid lobbyist for the pipeline. She tried to explain the project in the meeting, but shouts of opponents drowned her out.
An LSU study paid for by the oil and gas industry said the project would create 2,000 jobs, including pipe fabrication positions in Baton Rouge. Opponents of the job say only twelve of those jobs would be permanent.