Plaquemines Parish government has allowed plaintiff attorneys to file suit on its behalf for coastal erosion against a number of oil, gas and pipeline companies, but locals in the parish are overwhelmingly opposed to the lawsuit.
Jim Harris, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense, explained the loyalty that the gas and oil companies have achieved is to be expected given the economic influence of the companies
"It should not be surprising that a majority of Plaquemines Parish voters support the energy companies," Harris told Louisiana Record. "Many people in the parish are either directly or indirectly employed or have a family member employed in the industry or in a company that services the oil and gas industry."
Additionally, Harris explained, the energy companies are major tax funders of the local parish governments, making it clear as to the motivation of the parish residents' support of the companies.
"It is hard to understand why a parish would pursue these lawsuits against the oil and gas industry when its existence and growth are vital to sustaining both their parishes' and the state's economy," Harris said.
The president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has stated that the association will continue to fight for the jobs of its employees in the state of Louisiana.
Harris stated that the upcoming elections should help determine what action needs to be taken.
"Hopefully, after the upcoming parish elections, the council will see fit to listen to the will of the people and withdraw from the lawsuits," Harris said.
The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense is a group of professional companies, associations and individuals who are committed to guaranteeing a fair legal environment for small and large businesses and impaired individuals in the state.