ExxonMobil

In its "Poisoned Places" series, NPR reports that industry here in Louisiana is emitting more smog-producing chemicals than it should and regulators aren't doing enough to curtail the pollution.

Elizabeth Shogren honed in on Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery and the smoke Almena Poray sees from the front porch of her house, a block from the refinery's south gate.

"That's something you see every day," Poray told the NPR reporter. "Sometimes it's a darker gray, sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

Ed Overton, professor emeritus of environmental science at LSU, and Robert Berg, state regulatory advisor for Exxon talk more about what Poray is seeing and breathing from her front porch.


If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.

"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

Pete Souza

President Barack Obama touched on the oil and gas industry in his State of the Union. Some of these initiatives may benefit Louisiana’s economy.

First, the President suggested loosening regulation. “My administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits,” Obama said. “That’s got to be a part of an all-of-the-above plan.” 


Baton Rouge Patent Growth Lags Behind Cities Nationwide

Feb 5, 2013

Patent production isn’t growing as quickly in Baton Rouge as in other metro areas, according to a new national study.

The Brookings Institution ranks Baton Rouge 141st out of over 350 metro areas for patent production. The capitol city averaged 71 new patents yearly between 2007 and 2011. But it is on the bottom of the list for patent growth.

High patent production typically coincides with low unemployment. And patent growth can indicate coming industry expansion.

ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery.
Frank McMains

EPA inspectors made a surprise visit in July to ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery.