After a series of coastal lawsuits was filed against the gas and oil industry in Louisiana, an attempt in October by the Plaquemines Parish Council fell one vote shy of the tally needed to withdraw from the lawsuits, and the battle may be far from over.
The coastal lawsuits allege that the oil and gas industries are causing accelerated coastal erosion in the state and demand that the alleged wrongdoers be held accountable for the damages.
While the Plaquemines Parish Council voted 4-3 to withdraw, the tally lacked the necessary five votes needed to end the parish involvement in the suits. Now. it seems likely that the recent elections will make the continuation of the lawsuits inevitable.
According to the article published by The Advocate, the oil and gas industry may have gained supporters in the November elections. In Plaquemines Parish, council members John Barthelemy, Stuart Guey and Benny Rousselle have indicated they support the suits.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) recently spoke with the Louisiana Record about the lawsuits and what it may mean for the state.
“Whether the lawsuit moves forward or not remains to be seen,” John Diez, LABI's political director, said. “Regardless, the oil and gas industry generates over $19.2 billion in household earnings for Louisianans and supports 262,520 jobs in the state of Louisiana, per Dr. Loren Scott’s study.”
Given the fact that Louisiana relies so heavily on the energy industry, the lawsuit stand to disrupt the income that many families rely on in the state.
“The legal environment in Louisiana is strangling one of the the states most important job creators,” Diez said.