Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath is an environmental journalist who lives in New Orleans with her dog and three bikes.

An LNG tanker is docked at an export terminal

LNG lobbyists ghost wrote Louisiana officials’ letters supporting gas storage project

By: - May 17, 2023

In an effort to gain federal approval for a natural gas storage project in south Louisiana, Sempra LNG lobbyists crafted letters for Louisiana elected officials to send to federal regulators in support of the project. Last fall, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) greenlit the Hackberry gas storage project, which involves converting underground domes constructed […]

Oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil and gas worker survey sheds light on unstable, unsafe working conditions

By: - April 6, 2023

As a carpenter for a contractor company, Cullen Boudreaux worked in oil refineries throughout Louisiana. “I think a lot of regular people don’t realize how dangerous it really is,” he said of his experience in the oil and gas industry. Boudreaux described a time when he halted work on a project because he smelled a […]

A Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement inspector prepares to land for a scheduled pre-production inspection, Feb. 2, 2022, on a platform approximately 100 nautical miles off the coast of Houma, Louisiana

Growing body of research suggests offshore oil’s methane pollution is underestimated

By: - February 8, 2023

Flying 10,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, in a plane outfitted with infrared imaging equipment, researchers could see methane gas bubbling under water, likely from an undetected pipeline leak. Over the course of several flights in 2021, they spotted frequent gas plumes from platforms, storage tanks, and pipelines offshore, leading the team to believe […]

District 3 Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere, left, will face Davonte Lewis in a Dec. 10 runoff.

Louisiana Democratic Party ‘funneled’ utility donations to climate candidate’s challenger

By: - January 25, 2023

This article was first published by DeSmog, a global organization that works to provide climate accountability and serve as an antidote to science denial and disinformation through nvestigative journalism, in-depth research, and collaborations with other investigative outlets. Louisiana Democratic Party leaders are accused of funneling thousands of dollars from utility companies to the campaign of a fossil […]

Louisiana project highlights unknowns of carbon capture

By: - October 15, 2022

This story is published in partnership with Floodlight, Louisiana Illuminator, The Guardian, KALB-TV and The Lens.  A carbon capture project proposed for a central Louisiana power plant has been dubbed “Project Diamond Vault” by its owner, Louisiana utility Cleco. The utility says the project will have “precious value” to the company, customers and state. Yet less than […]

Sinking homes, damaged roads: How a New Orleans community struggles against subsidence

By: - October 12, 2022

This story was reported through a partnership that includes the Louisiana Illuminator, Floodlight, The Lens, WWNO-FM and The Guardian.  NEW ORLEANS – In the early 1990s, James Wright lost his family home in the 9th Ward neighborhood when a new school was built on his block. “They basically took our houses because they gave us […]

Industry overpumping of Baton Rouge groundwater could pollute the supply for residents

By: - June 8, 2022

The pristine Baton Rouge water source is facing a serious and worsening threat from over pumping: saltwater intrusion. Much of it can be attributed to unchecked water use by the industrial sector.

Sharon Hewitt

Louisiana Sen. Sharon Hewitt has history of passing bills to benefit oil and gas, her husband

By: - May 6, 2022

Public records shared with Floodlight in partnership with The Lens, The Illuminator and The Guardian, show state Sen. Sharon Hewitt of Slidell also pushed for laws that would benefit her husband’s company.  

Louisiana Shell refinery left spewing chemicals after Hurricane Ida

By: - September 4, 2021

Behind a playground littered with downed tree branches, Shell’s refinery in Norco, Louisiana spewed black smoke from its stacks. The smell of rotten eggs, the signature scent of sulphur emissions, lingered in the air. In an effort to burn off toxic chemicals before and after Hurricane Ida, many industrial facilities sent the gases through smoke […]

Louisiana government researcher says she was fired for raising alarm about dolphin deaths

By: - July 29, 2021

Gulf Coast researchers are raising alarms about a $1.4 billion coastal restoration project’s potential to kill and injure bottlenose dolphins. Now, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries employee whose job it was to count dolphin deaths in the state says she was fired in 2019 because her work reaffirmed the potential of the project […]

solar panels

Grassroot groups give Louisiana lawmakers an ‘F’ on the environment

By: - July 7, 2021

Louisiana is among the nation’s top energy producing states. It’s also among the states most vulnerable to climate change, which is driving more intense hurricanes and rising seas. That combination of energy production and geographic vulnerability means state lawmakers are in a powerful position to address the environmental impacts of energy production. So how did […]

Amid oil and gas buildout, Louisiana industry pushes for less oversight

By: - June 15, 2021

When a natural gas pipeline fire in Paradis killed one worker and burned three others in 2017, the Louisiana State Police ordered Phillips 66 to pay a $22,000 fine for failing to immediately report the incident. The fire burned for four days before first responders could put it out. But the company ultimately didn’t pay […]