Paying bills for the increase in natural gas for some in the small town Louisiana – Marketplace

Every Tuesday at 2:00 pm, a group of women meet at the 4C Bar in Grand Cante, Louisiana.

The village of Desoto Parish, about half an hour south of Schreveport, has a population of 242.

“When I was 8, my dad left the ministry. And he did not want to be around many people. And found a cane. And there weren’t many people here. ”

Her father bought a plot of land to cultivate it. “Okay, in the 40’s, it was cotton first when we went here,” she said. “And then he took over dairy farming.”

According to Richardson, at one time there were more than 100 family-owned dairy farms in the area. Nothing right now. A.D. In the 1980s, the federal government began buying farmers here, and many left the city.

“It was all here,” she said.

Forgotten 15 years ago, when oil and gas companies decided it was time to dig into the Heinsville Shell, 10,000 feet below the city. Villagers began knocking on doors and giving large payday loans to people.

“It was a great incentive for individuals and the community because we had acres and you rented and made money,” Richardson said. “I called it ‘free money’. We did not find: We received it. ”

The village leased some land and used the money to upgrade its water and sewerage system; The local economy has slowed down.

“It’s the first time in my life that business on the street catches up with everyone,” said John Franklin, drinking a few chairs from a women’s group meeting. The family owned land in Desoto Parish for six generations.

“I am 56 years old, and this has never been the case in my life. Never, ”said Franklin.

With more than $ 25,000 in middle-income household income, many local landowners who have signed up for their mining rights have already received five- and six-digit checks.

In addition, many people get checks for gas every month. In Franklin’s case, this adds up to more cattle and timber being sold. This year’s rise in gas prices means more revenue.

Oil and gas companies are vying for more mineral rights in Disoto Parish.

“I think today we are at a critical juncture in the price of natural gas,” said Brad Williams, president of Spitfire Energy Consultants in Houston. “Manufacturers see that, lenders and investors see that.”

According to Williams, countries have increased the price of natural gas by generating electricity instead of coal and oil.

Sabin Pass Natural Gas Factory in Cameroon Parish, Louisiana. (Andy Uhler / Marketplace)

“The World Bank is unwilling to finance new coal projects,” he said. “They are financing a natural gas power project.”

American producers aim to export liquid natural gas or LNG.

“Vietnam has stripped down 20 coal-fired power plants and is now seeking to replace those with natural gas,” Williams said. Well, that LNG comes from somewhere.

Some from DeSoto Parish. But the oil boom will cost the small towns as much as it costs.

Sally Fleming, a lawyer who has filed several lawsuits against oil and gas companies, including in Disoto Parish, said: “While many of these companies have developed good protocols, there are serious environmental issues.” A shocking accident spilled gasoline into the water table.

But Fleming sold some of her land to mine.

Reading two signs "There are no trucks" And "No oil field traffic." Appears and is posted throughout DeSoto Parish.
These signs are posted on every street in Desoto Parish. People often complain about traffic jams and noise. (Andy Uhler / Marketplace)

“You know, as an individual, I’m grateful for the money I received,” she says. “And if we can responsibly produce natural gas and make sure there are no emissions and we don’t have a disaster like we do in Destoto, I think there are some important potential forces out there.”

Grand Cane Mayor Marsha Richardson is not worried about degrading the oil and gas industry environment. She has an active oil and gas lease on the land her father left her.

“Companies in our area ’em have taken exactly what I call’ leftover products, ‘” she says. “We did not suffer here. And people are screaming and screaming about it. But when we were in the dairy business it was kind of like backstory, and they were talking about the smell. It smelled like money. And all that noise seems like money to me.

Richardson says people who work on these newly drilled equipment spend a lot of money on domestic businesses. And in the next round, she hopes to upgrade the Grand Canal drainage system in the village lease.

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