ST. JAMES PARISH, La. (WGNO) — Environmentalists are pushing back against a proposed jet fuel plant in St. James Parish.
The company says it will use solar power to turn sugar cane into fuel and bring hundreds of jobs.
“By us buying up that sugarcane trash, and it not being burned, we are actually cleaning up the atmosphere. We are also a zero-emissions process. So, we emit nothing back into the river,” says CEO and Chairman of DG Fuels Micheal Darcy.
Darcy added that the facility will create 650 permanent jobs, with 200 permanent positions going to local St. James Parish residents.
“We have a minimum payroll of $48,000 a year plus benefits. These are good jobs,” says Darcy.
Yet, Founder and Director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade Anne Rolfes says the proposals sound too good to be true.
“We have no idea what they would be burning on that site. It’s supposed to be a site that burns agriculture products is what they are saying, but they are not saying specifically what that is. What would it smell like? What are the carbon emissions?” says Rolfes.
Darcy said DG Fuels wants the community to know they have their best interest at heart by producing only sustainable aviation fuel and a clean energy source with minimal environmental impact.
“The key to our technology is everything that comes in from the biomass goes out as fuel. We are both green and clean. We omit so little from our facility,” says Darcy.
Rolfes believes if this were so great, it wouldn’t be put in St. James Parish.
“In general, in the state of Louisiana, they put pollution in Black communities. Communities that don’t have the resources to fight back and I suspect that DG Fuels are just the same,” says Rolfes.