Louisiana Record

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

LOGA president says City of New Orleans is chasing 'pot of gold' by joining coastal erosion lawsuits against energy companies

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By Carrie Bradon | Apr 29, 2019

In the wake of numerous threats against the oil and gas industry of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans has come alongside of six parishes that are suing companies for alleged coastal land loss.

According to The Advocate, the lawsuit was filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court and claims that the City of New Orleans has been harmed by energy companies including Entergy New Orleans, Chevron and ExxonMobil. 

The lawsuit is seeking payment from the named defendants to make reparations for the alleged damages.

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has been one of the many groups to speak out against the city’s move to join the lawsuit, as pro-energy business groups have been seeking to prevent matters from escalating for months now.

“Ever since the first parish lawsuit was filed, the lawyers have promised a pot of gold to every local government across coastal Louisiana,” LOGA President Gifford Briggs told Louisiana Record. “Seven years later, nothing has happened to protect Louisiana’s coast.”

The New Orleans case claims the coastal lands in the state are being eaten away due to the oil and gas companies' lack of maintenance and control when it comes to the impact of their activities. The lawsuit alleges the City of New Orleans is being placed in a position of jeopardy in areas of commerce, transportation, culture and economy.

LOGA is concerned, however, that the motivation for this lawsuit lies not with the protection of the coastal areas of Louisiana but with lawyers who are seeking litigation with large settlements attached.

“There is no reason why Louisiana should be outsourcing the protection of its coast to a few lawyers whose only interest is in padding their bank accounts,” Briggs said. “It is long past time that the litigation is put on the back burner and state government take back the responsibility it is granted in the Coastal Zone Program.”

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