Following the recent elections, the Plaquemines Parish Council, which at one time appeared to be willing to end its involvement in coastal lawsuits against the state's energy industry, now seems to have even more support for continuing the litigation.
According to an article by The Advocate, a 4-3 vote by the Plaquemines Parish Council in October delayed the council’s interaction in the suits, however, the majority of the newly elected council members are likely to be in favor of continuing the lawsuits against the energy industry.
The fact that the council members seem willing to pursue legal action against the energy industry is alarming to groups such as the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, all of which believe these lawsuits are doing more harm than good.
“The devastation the legal climate has had on Louisiana’s oil and gas industry can not be overstated,” Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, recently told the Louisiana Record.
Briggs said he believes that these lawsuits are less about the good of the environment and more about trial attorneys who are looking for a large payout at the energy industry’s expense.
“The continuation of these lawsuits only benefit a small group of trial lawyers looking for a jackpot settlement,” Briggs said. “Louisiana Oil and Gas Association remains committed to fighting to put an end to these unnecessary and excessive lawsuits.”
The “devastation” Briggs spoke of refers to businesses leaving the state for friendlier business climates, such as Texas, a state that has fewer legal burdens and more opportunity.
Several of the parish council members who are likely to support the continuation of the lawsuits are John Barthelemy, Stuart Guey and Benny Rousselle, The Advocate article said.