The Plaquemines Parish Council, prodded by Council Member Irvin Juneau, recently voted on whether to withdraw from coastal lawsuits against the oil and gas industry.
Though the vote was one short of the number needed to approve the measure, Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, wrote a response to the council decision, titled "Changing the Trajectory," in which he claimed that the council voted for "jobs, not lawsuits."
Juneau said he pushed to have the lawsuit issue brought up for discussion and a vote because he personally feels that the oil and gas industries have done a great deal for the parish and will continue to do so if they are not chased off my lawsuits such as these.
"The reason I brought it up and the reason I tried to get it voted on is because I believe that you should be pursuing someone that is taking care of you; why cut the head off of someone that is taking care of you?" Juneau told the Louisiana Record.
Juneau worked to gain the support of those who would vote against the lawsuits because of economic reasons and the fact that the parish is desperately in need of funding.
"My thought was that if we drop the charges, the oil and gas companies would slowly come back the the parish; we do need them in the parish because the money situation is dire, which is why I brought it up," Juneau said.
Juneau said his decision regarding the lawsuit was made in the midst of the mid-term elections and he realizes that his decision may have been an unpopular one, but he is still happy with the decision that he made.
"I was able to get four votes, I wasn’t able to get 5 but I did what I thought what I should have done; it may have made me lose the election but I’m glad with what I did," Juneau said.