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The Plaquemines Parish Council has allowed plaintiff attorneys to file suit on its behalf against a number of oil, gas and pipeline companies accusing them of contributing to coastal erosion, but many Louisianans are not necessarily backing the initiative.
Despite claims that the environment is suffering due to the actions of these companies, residents in the affected parishes are siding with the corporations rather than their local governments.
Tyler Gray with the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) recently commented on the situation and the fact that 57% of local residents oppose the lawsuits brought against the corporations, according to a survey by the Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute.
Tyler Gray | Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association website photo
"I think this statistic is clear. A majority of Plaquemines residents do not support these lawsuits," Gray recently told the Louisiana Record. "The results, the minority interest is looking to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of residents."
And though 99 percent of those polled believe that the energy industry plays an important role in the local economy, Gray said the remaining 1 percent is driving the oil and gas industry away with these lawsuits, which will do little more than to injure the parishes.
"At this point, it appears the attorneys representing the parish refuse to lose and will pursue these baseless claims even after the Parish Council voted 4-3 to dismiss the suit," Gray said.
Gray said Plaquemines Parish, which relies on the jobs provided by energy corporations, will suffer if the claims brought forth by the lawsuits stick.
"Louisiana needs jobs to grow its economy, and coaxing parish officials to file meritless suits alleging damage from legally obtained permits is not the way to create jobs in Plaquemines Parish," Gray said.