In a recent op-ed, written by Lana Venable, director of the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, and published by Watchdog, concerns have been raised about the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ recent appointment of the parish district attorney to conduct damage assessments that are alleged to come from oil and gas development in Terrebonne Parish.
According to Venable, this is an effort to not only go around the local leadership, but also is a sign of “state government overreach.”
Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana OIl and Gas Association (LOGA), shares Venable’s concerns, as well as what these assessments will stand to do to the energy industry that the state of Louisiana so depends on.
“This questionable approach to litigation is an obvious attempt by the administration to navigate around local leaders to push the administration’s sue-first agenda,” Briggs told Louisiana Record.
According to Venable’s piece, Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove as well as Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle have spoken out against the litigation, as they believe it singles out the energy industry, an action that both Venable and Briggs are pleased to see.
“We applaud Parish President Gordy Dove for his ongoing commitment to collaboration and working with our industry to develop common sense solutions,” Briggs said.
Briggs believes the energy industry is a vital part of the Louisiana economy and that it's the duty of the oil and gas industry to ensure their operations are conducted with the environment in mind.
“The energy industry will continue the tradition of working alongside local leaders in Terrebonne and communities across the state in support of coastal restoration, wetland protection and the sustainable development of Louisiana’s natural resources,” Briggs said.
He notes he industry is also responsible for the thousands of individuals who depend on their employment with the oil and gas companies for their livelihood, and pledges that LOGA will not turn their back on this duty either.
“The oil and gas industry has a longstanding commitment to the people of Terrebonne Parish — providing jobs and vital revenue for the working families of the parish,” Briggs said.