Sara Sneath

Sara Sneath

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

Does Venture Global’s Louisiana LNG plant profit from pollution?

By: - October 4, 2023

Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export terminal is in the longest ever commissioning period for a plant of its kind. The 19-month duration has enabled the company to sell LNG on the spot market at a much higher price than if the plant was fully operational. Now, experts say the unprecedented delay […]

A tug boat pulls a barge on the Mississippi River downriver from the city of New Orleans, shown on the horizon at sunset

Drought sparks drinking water concerns as saltwater creeps up Mississippi River

By: - September 22, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — Drought across the midwestern and southern U.S. has left the Mississippi River with such low water levels that saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico is creeping upriver in Louisiana, which could impact the drinking water of thousands of residents in the next few weeks. For those who rely on the Mississippi River […]

Large plumes of smoke pour from a fire Aug. 23, 2023, at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Garyville.

Toxins from Marathon refinery fire leaked 15 hours before evacuation called

By: - September 8, 2023

When St. John the Baptist Parish residents woke up on Friday, Aug. 25, they saw a plume of black smoke above the Marathon Petroleum refinery between Reserve and Garyville. Marathon told residents and parish officials that the fire started that morning around two tanks storing naphtha — a type of partially refined petroleum used as […]

Large plumes of smoke pour from a fire Aug. 23, 2023, at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Garyville.

Marathon Refinery fire illustrates how industry goes quiet during a crisis

By: and - September 5, 2023

Thick black smoke billowed and flames rose from two chemical storage tanks at the Marathon Petroleum refinery between Reserve and Garyville on Friday, Aug. 25. Geraldine Watkins saw the towers of smoke through the passenger seat window of a car that morning, while she was on her way to a court hearing about whether another […]

Four natural gas pipelines lead toward the horizon

Thousands of miles of pipelines planned to boost LNG exports

By: - August 16, 2023

U.S. fossil fuel firms are pushing to build more than 2,900 miles of natural gas pipelines to feed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities in Louisiana, Texas and Alaska, in a bid to send more of the fuel to Asia and Europe, a new analysis by Global Energy Monitor shows. The pipeline projects would transport […]

oil well and valve

$97 million tax break for oil companies in Louisiana halted

By: - June 1, 2023

For the fifth time, a Louisiana lawmaker has introduced legislation to try to reduce the tax that fossil fuel firms pay on oil they produce in the state. The original version of the bill introduced by Rep. Phillip DeVillier this spring would have cost the state $97 million over the next five years, according to […]

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 […]