Baton Rouge ExxonMobil leaders push for share of $15B in low-carbon projects

ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge chemical plant.

Leaders of ExxonMobil’s facilities in Baton Rouge, like their colleagues worldwide, are working on road maps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the year.

They’re also hoping to attract a share of the $15 billion the company has committed to lower carbon emissions over the next five years.

“There’s going to be massive investment,” says Stephanie Cargile, ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge public affairs manager. “I certainly want Louisiana to be a part of it.”

ExxonMobil has reorganized itself into three divisions: upstream, products solutions, and a new business: low carbon solutions, which includes carbon capture and sequestration, hydrogen production and other developing technologies.

While Baton Rouge primarily falls under the “product solutions” banner, the company is planning a “world-scale blue hydrogen plant” and large plastic waste recycling facility in Baytown, Texas. Could Baton Rouge attract projects with similar goals?

“We have got to show how we are going to contribute to [ExxonMobil’s] net-zero ambition by 2050,” Cargile says. “There’s a huge team working on that at our refinery and chemical plants right now.”

She says Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force, meant to put the state on a similar path to net-zero emissions by 2050, benefits Baton Rouge.

Cargile also says ExxonMobil has reached a comfort level with the state’s controversial Industrial Tax Exemption Program by limiting applications to significant projects or multiple investments bundled together under a common goal.

One recruiting challenge ExxonMobil faces involves concerns from parents on how to navigate school choice in the Capital Region, as Cargile notes that the company’s professional workforce is drawn from around the world.

“We need our best and brightest minds,” she says.