THIBODAUX — Lafourche Parish District Attorney Cam Morvant has claimed that groups are disseminating incorrect information about lawsuits targeting gas and oil companies, according to an article in the Daily Comet.
Morvant is specifically responding to Grow Louisiana Coalition's letter, which was sent to residents of coastal parishes informing them that if they did not file suit against the allegedly offending oil and gas companies for wetlands damage, the state would file suit on their behalf.
Louisiana Coalition flyers encouraged residents to contact local
government leaders about lawsuits against the industry, according to the
Daily Comet article. One line of the mailer claims that Baton Rouge
lawyers want the district attorneys to bypass the parish councils and
accurate,” Morvant said told the Daily Comet. “No
one has ever approached me either verbally or in writing regarding the
district attorney filing a lawsuit on behalf of the parish. Even if they
would, I would not have the authority to do that without council
Parish, either the parish president or the parish council can initiate a
lawsuit. Terrebonne Parish President Gordy Dove has said he will not
file suit against the oil and gas companies. He even hand delivered a
letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards saying that. The previous parish council passed a
resolution that it would not file suit either.
the effect a lawsuit such as this will have on our local economy," the
letter said. "First of all, we would be suing our corporate citizens ...
A suit such as this at this time will jeopardize hundreds of new jobs
in Terrebonne Parish."
Grow Louisiana Coalition Executive Director Marc Ehrhardt praised Morvant’s response to the issue in the Daily Comet article.
appreciate that the district attorney has clarified the situation and
we’re glad he hasn’t been contacted (by state lawyers),” Ehrhardt said.
Erhardt said in the article that the mail outs should help clarify information.
goal of the mail outs is so that the citizens can gain a better
understanding of what’s happening and what is coming out of Baton Rouge
to our parishes to try and dictate what the parishes may or may not do,”
Ehrhardt said. “We believe that the people who support the oil and
natural gas industry should have an opportunity to speak out.”
Cameron, Jefferson, Plaquemines and Vermilion have filed such suits or are in the process of doing so. Edwards gave parishes that have not yet sued until the end of November to decide before the state proceeds on their behalf.
Meanwhile, Edwards has been accused of supporting such coastal land loss lawsuits in favor of some of his biggest campaign contributors.