The Plaquemines Parish Council recently voted on whether to withdraw from a series of coastal lawsuits against the gas and oil industries, an issue that has left leaders and organizations at odds, with some groups pushing for additional litigation against the energy industries and others committing to fight until the lawsuits stop altogether.
Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs,published a response to the vote, titled "Changing the Trajectory," in which he claims the Plaquemines Parish Council voted for "jobs, not lawsuits," even though the vote was not enough to pass the resolution to end the parish's involvement in the litigation.
Jim Harris, president of the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense, recently commented on the parish's decision to vote on whether to pull out of the lawsuit and the public's feeling about the matter.
"According to a recent poll, close to 60 percent of Plaquemines Parish voters supported dismissing the suit against the oil and gas industry," Harris said. "It is sad that more of the council did not respond to the opinion of their constituents."
Harris said that in the same poll, 84 percent of Plaquemines Parish voters felt that the oil and gas industry was important to their family's quality of life.
"It is a shame the parish government doesn’t understand that reality," Harris said.
Harris agrees with Briggs' statement regarding jobs, not lawsuits, taking precedence in the Plaquemines Parish council majority.
"Jobs, not lawsuits, pay for survival of a community and the services government is responsible for delivering," Harris said.