white blocked letters underlined with red, yellow, and green read: Protect Black Communities Protect Black History NO LNG behind the words is a slightly transparent Black and white image of machinery at an LNG industrial site.

{Washington, DC} -A delegation of noted community organizers, from historic African-American communities in Texas and Louisiana, traveled to Washington, DC to meet with congress and federal regulators. The group, which includes Environmental Justice advocates, Roishetta Ozane of The Vessel Project of Louisiana, and Michael McKenzie Sr. of Resilience is Power Program (Houston, Texas), hosted a press conference in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday, February 16th at 11:00 am EST. The group is calling on the Commission to stop approving the expansion of Liquefied Natural Gas export facilities across the Gulf of Mexico and argues the projects disproportionately impact and displace Black communities.

Lifelong Freeport, Texas resident, Gwendolyn Jones, fears another explosion like the one that closed Freeport LNG in June of 2022. In November, Jones visited the FERC headquarters, along with other members of Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Water of Freeport and Brazoria County, and asked the commission to host a public meeting in the community prior to allowing Freeport LNG to resume operation. “We have come too far for us not to be heard or listened to. What would you do if the shoe was on the other foot you can’t tell me you will put your children and your life, and your family in that same situation you cannot.” Jones stated.

On Saturday, February 11th, the FERC Office of Public Participation hosted a public meeting in Freeport in preparation for Freeport LNG re-opening this month. Jones will return to Washington this week to lobby congress and urge stronger safety enforcement and protections at the facility. “You cannot allow money to take precedence over human life.  That is unacceptable completely,” Jones laments.   

Since July 2022, residents of communities located near gas export facilities have been attending FERC Open Meetings to ensure their voices and concerns are heard. The visits have grown into a campaign called  #FrontlinestoFERC – a monthly series of in-person and live-streamed press conferences in response to the FERC Open Meetings. The theme of Thursday’s press conference is Protect Black Communities, Protect Black History, No LNG. 

For Lousiana resident, community organizer, and mother of six, Roishetta Ozane, #FrontlinestoFERC is an opportunity to continue raising the concerns for residents of Southwest Louisiana“I believe everyone deserves to live in a safe, healthy, and equitable environment but communities of color are not afforded the same access to clean air, land, and water. That is why during this Black History Month it is essential to recognize the role that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plays in rubber-stamping extractive industry into environmental justice communities.” 

Ozane has become a leading voice standing up to the multitude of industries that operate in the region. Last September, Ozane led a tour for FERC commissioners, highlighting environmental and community concerns for the coastal towns of Sulphur, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas. Quiet beach towns and port communities near the Gulf of Mexico have become the epicenter for the expansion of LNG export in the United States. According to FERC’s website, there are four operational LNG export facilities in the region and over fifteen new facilities that have been approved for development since November 2020.   

Groups like Healthy Gulf and Texas Campaign for the Environment argue concerns like soil erosion and climate change will be made worse by the proposed expansion of LNG that must be permitted and approved by FERC. “When projects such as Commonwealth are green-lighted it shows that there is considerably more work to be done within the agency.“  Ozane stated in reflection of the commission’s recent unanimous decision to approve a new Commonwealth LNG export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. In December, a coalition of environmental organizations including Healthy Gulf, Sierra Club, and Louisiana Bucket Brigade filed a request for a rehearing and reversal of the commission’s decision. 

Presenters at Thursday’s live-streamed press conference include: 

Roishetta Ozane – Founder, Director, and CEO of the Vessel Project of Louisiana, Noted Environmental Justice Advocate and Organizer 

Brittany Manuel – Fellow, Healthy Gulf, Southwest Louisiana  

Gwen Jones, Citizens for Clean Air & Clean Water of Freeport and Brazoria County, Freeport TX resident

Sue Page, Resident of Surfside Beach, member of Texas Campaign for the Environment

Melanie Oldham, Citizens for Clean Air & Clean Water of Freeport and Brazoria County, Freeport TX

The speakers will be accompanied by a performance from globally recognized Jazz/Soul Vocalist, Cecily


For more information please visit: 

The Vessel Project –www.vesselprojectoflouisiana.com

Resilience is Power Program – www.resilientfutureleaders.org

Citizens for Clean Air & Clean Water of Freeport and Brazoria County- www.facebook.com/groups/CleanAirCleanWaterFreeportTX

Healthy Gulf-  www.Healthygulf.org 

Texas Campaign for the Environment- www.texasenvironment.org

Watch previous press conferences and follow the story at www.frontlinestoferc.org 

Media Contact 

Kari Fulton 


Center for Oil and Gas Organizing 

Twitter: @checktheweather