Louisiana

In late March, residents across Louisiana picked up the phone to hear a recorded voice inviting them to join experts for a “free informational conference call on the Bayou Bridge pipeline.”

But residents who stayed on the line were never informed that one of those experts -- James “Spider” Marks -- has close ties to TigerSwan, a mercenary private security firm that used counter-terrorism tactics against water protectors at Standing Rock and that’s been denied a license to work in Louisiana.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) has confirmed that the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline has been rerouted to go around the L’eau Est La Vie resistance camp.

“We are glad that we are safe in our little corner, but we still have grave concerns for our neighbors whose land has been taken by this disaster-prone company,” said Cherri Foytlin, a representative from L’eau Est La Vie camp.

Baton Rouge, LA -- TigerSwan, the mercenary firm under fire in North Dakota for using counterterrorism tactics against water protectors opposing Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock, has applied for a license to provide private security in Louisiana.

While the application process does not require the firm to indicate who they will be working for, Energy Transfer Partners spokesperson Alexis Daniel said the pipeline company anticipates work to begin on the Bayou Bridge pipeline in the third quarter of this year.

I began my career in West Africa in the 1990s, where Nigerians who peacefully protested the oil industry’s destruction of their farms were raped, beaten and murdered. In the Niger Delta, violent repression was the oil industry and the Nigerian government’s response to a movement that had grown so powerful that on one day, in one protest, there were 300,000 people in the streets.

I’m Darin Acosta. I grew up in Norco, Louisiana. That’s influenced a lot of work and research that I do. Most of my creative output centers around industrialization in the River Parishes. I went to graduate school for urban and regional planning at UNO (University of New Orleans), where I learned GIS (geographic information system), so I apply GIS  to my creative work in order to introduce users to environmental justice histories in the region that I grew up in. 

This is part two of a three part series featuring an insider look at the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico - including environmental practices, worker-related injuries and deaths, and the industry’s economic and political influence - through the lens of thirty-five-year oil worker Randy Comeaux. See part one here

 

This is part one of a three part series featuring an insider look at the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico - including environmental practices, worker-related injuries and deaths, and the industry’s economic and political influence - through the lens of thirty-five-year oil worker Randy Comeaux.

Brandon Ballengée wears many hats. And, as a visual artist, biologist and environmental activist, he often wears them simultaneously.

According to his website, he, “creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired from his ecological field and laboratory research.”

As Ballengée explains, “I’m kind of a strange hybrid mix between an artist and a biologist.”

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