The lawsuit filed against 97 oil and gas companies by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has garnered a great deal of interest. It prompted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to replace three members of the SLFPA-E and his coastal advisor, Garrett Graves, has been very outspoken in opposition of the lawsuit. Earlier this week, the Louisiana Division of Administration was ordered to turn over about 19,000 emails that may contain conversations between energy officials and a coastal advisor. As this lawsuit continues to draw attention, reports indicate that this is not the only lawsuit the oil and gas industry will need to fight.
There were seven lawsuits filed against numerous oil and gas companies on Tuesday in Jefferson Parish and another 21 filed in Plaquemines Parish. These lawsuits allege basically the same thing as the SLFPA-E's suit - the oil and gas industry is responsible for the damage and injury to the state's coastal areas because of decades of canal dredging and pipeline operations.
The president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Don Briggs, condemned these lawsuits, just as he did the one filed by the SLFPA-E. Briggs maintains that the lawsuits are nothing more than a chance for trial lawyers to line their pockets.
There's no word yet as to how much the lawsuits are seeking from the oil and gas companies; however, the suits do want "costs necessary to clear, revegetate, detoxify and otherwise restore" certain coast areas that are located in the two parishes.
These suits also allege that the oil and gas companies violated many environmental laws. Also specified were allegations of waste pits that were not permitted.
Graves was a little less adamant about his opposition when he spoke about the new lawsuits. He said that the Department of Natural Resources has been asked to look over the lawsuits as well as the permits.
Those who believe the planet has suffered from environmental problems because of "big oil" have a right to seek to have the oil and gas companies fix the problems or seek compensation for restoration efforts.
modbee.com, "2 La. Parishes file suits against oil companies" Kevin McGill, Nov. 12, 2013