The oil and gas industry, one of the most powerful and profitable sectors of the world economy, continues to fight fervently against being held responsible for the significant damage it has caused to Louisiana’s coast and wetlands.
The facts are clear. At least 34 scientific studies, including studies done by the oil and gas industry itself and dating back as far as 1971, conclude that oil and gas activities contributed greatly to Louisiana’s coastal land loss. Many of the studies concluded that the majority of the land loss in some areas, as much as 80%, is due to oil and gas activities.
Much of the damage done by oil and gas exploration and production is in clear violation of the law and the oil and gas industry knew it. Through these illegal activities, the oil and gas industry has caused a tremendous amount of damage to Louisiana. And not only is the Louisiana state government not holding the industry responsible, it has actively helped the industry evade responsibility.
Because the oil and gas industry refuses to take responsibility for the damage it has done, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPA-E), Plaquemines Parish, Jefferson Parish, and Cameron Parish have all filed lawsuits to force oil and gas companies to fix the damage they caused.
Backlash from the oil and gas industry lead the Plaquemines Parish council to drop its lawsuit. It’s vitally important that we support Jefferson Parish, Cameron Parish and SLFPA-E. We must also encourage Governor John Bel Edwards to hold the oil and gas industry accountable as he has said he would.
Land loss is the single greatest threat our Louisiana coastal communities face. It is already destroying communities like Pointe Aux Chenes and Leeville. The evidence is clear, as it has been for decades, that the oil and gas industry is responsible for a significant portion of that land loss. It is only fair and decent that the oil and gas industry fix the damage it is responsible for and that the laws of Louisiana are upheld. The oil and gas industry made huge profits from the activities they undertook in and around our communities. Requiring it to fix the damge it caused is not asking too much. I support your lawsuits and applaud your courage. Please continue to hold accountable those that have damaged our land.