Following the seemingly countless threats against the oil and gas industry of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans has joined with six other parishes filing lawsuits against energy companies, listing allegations of coastal land loss.
According to The Advocate, the lawsuit filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court alleges New Orleans has been harmed by the operations of energy companies including Entergy New Orleans, Chevron and ExxonMobil.
The lawsuit is seeking payment from the named defendants – Apache Louisiana Minerals LLC, Aspect Energy LLC, Chaparral Energy LLC, Chevron, Collins Pipeline, EOG Resources, ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., Gulf South Pipeline Co., Southern Natural Gas Co. and Whiting Oil and Gas Corp. – for the alleged damages.
The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Association is speaking out against the lawsuit as it believes this type of action will do little more than harm the business climate in the state and subsequently those who call Louisiana home.
“LMOGA vehemently disagrees with the decision to outsource responsibility for enforcing state and local permitting laws to private lawyers,” LMOGA President Tyler Gray told Louisiana Record. "With this decision, New Orleans disregards our environmental stewardship, relying on profit motivated lawsuits to make a quick buck."
The New Orleans lawsuit alleges the oil and gas companies have been negligent in their maintenance and operations and have caused the coastline to be eroded, in addition to claiming the city's commerce, transportation, economy and culture are in jeopardy.
Gray, however, believes filing a lawsuit sends a clear message that the plaintfifs in the suit care more about a profit than they do about protecting jobs.
“Unnecessary legal tactics threaten the community investment and cultural support the industry has provided for over a century, which they can now potentially lose, as they wait for several years, as other parishes in the state have, for this to work its way through the judicial process,” Gray said.