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Senator Adley needs to understand severity of wetlands loss

The lawsuit filed against 97 oil and gas companies in Louisiana by the Southeast Flood Protection Authority-East has generated a great deal of debate. However, one tour guide from New Orleans recently expressed his outrage at Louisiana State Senator Robert Adley in a letter to local media.

The senator called the lawsuit, which seeks to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the damage and injury to the state's wetlands and coastal areas, the "worse case of neglect and law breaking that he had ever seen."

It's not that the damage to the wetlands outrages the senator, but the SLFPA-E's attorneys in the suit. The senator believes that the "possible violation of La. Revised Statute 42-263" is what is what is so egregious. That's the law that governs the hiring of counsel.

The senator also says that the failure of the state's attorney general to address this "possible violation" is quite like "fiddling while Rome is burning." The tour guide says that the senator should realize that Louisiana is washing away - not burning.

As the tour guide points out, though, the loss of Louisiana's wetlands is more than just a disaster to the environment. Now, there are lives and property at risk from storm surges. The tour guide also says that in 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey placed the blame for 36 percent of the wetlands loss on activity by the oil and gas industry.

While not every environmental issue ends up in court, many do because that is often the only way to force individuals and companies to change their actions that may be harmful for the environment. An experienced environmental attorney can provide valuable guidance to those who want to learn how best to proceed with such a case.

Source: theadvocate.com, "Letter: Adley should be more concerned about loss of wetlands" W. Keith Hurtt, Jan. 23, 2014

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