Activist sues for Graves’ conversations with oil and gas industry

Garret Graves is the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman for Louisiana under Governor Bobby Jindal. Both Graves and the governor have vehemently opposed a massive lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) against almost 100 oil and gas companies over the damage and injury to Louisiana’s wetlands. The lawsuit alleges that the building of canals and pipelines, as well as dredging, has been one of the primary factors in coastal erosion. That erosion, the lawsuit states, is also what has led to the increased risk of flooding on a catastrophic level in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

An activist with an environmental group from New Orleans wants to know why Graves has “launched such a harsh offensives” against the lawsuit and the SLFPA-E’s board. She believes that Governor Jindal and Graves are both “acting in the interest of the oil and gas industry.”

She originally filed a records request for all correspondence from Graves since last December. That request was denied, with the denial saying it was “overbroad and unduly burdensome.” As a result, she filed a lawsuit in Baton Rouge’s 19th Judicial District Court. In the lawsuit, she states that the request is within the constraints of the Louisiana Public Records Act and wants the Division of Administration to turn over all correspondence, as well as pay her attorney costs and fees.

This lawsuit comes just as Graves announced that the governor would not reappoint at least two members of the SLFPA-E’s board. Both the board’s president and vice-president’s terms were up in July. These two members have been the lawsuit’s most vocal proponents.

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