A recent op-ed written by Lana Venable, director of the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, and published by Watchdog raises concerns about the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ recent appointment of the Terrebonne Parish district attorney to conduct damage assessments that are alleged to come from oil and gas development in the parish.
As far as Venable is concerned, this tactic is not only an effort to sidestep local leadership, but also is clearly an example of “state government overreach.”
Tyler Gray, president of the Louisiana Mid-continent Oil and Gas Association, believes the action by Terrebonne Parish is unmerited and will not have a positive impact on the economy.
“It’s disappointing to see the use of premature and unnecessary legal tactics that simply do not reflect the will of the people of Terrebonne Parish,” Gray told Louisiana Record.
Venable argues in her piece that the Louisiana Department of Natural Resource has determined there is a problem before they have investigated it. They are doing this by encouraging the district attorney to conduct the damage assessments before there have been any permit violations formally recognized.
“Louisiana does not need more lawsuits to resolve our state’s changing coastline,” Gray said. “The natural gas and oil industry has been a strong partner with our state for over a century, providing jobs for our families and investing millions in our communities, the coast and the environment.”
Gray is optimistic about the future of oil and gas in Terrebonne Parish and hopes the relationship with residents will remain strong for years to come.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with leaders from Terrebonne and parishes across the state to work towards real solutions for Louisiana’s working coast outside of the courtroom,” Gray said.