Louisiana is familiar with lawsuits – including those condemning the operations of oil and gas companies – and now the City of New Orleans has joined forces with six parishes that are alleging energy companies are to blame for coastal land loss in the state.
According to The Advocate, the lawsuit was filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. The suit alleges that New Orleans has been harmed by the operations of energy companies including Entergy New Orleans, Chevron and ExxonMobil and seeks payment for the alleged damages. Defendants named in the suit include 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.
Grow Louisiana Coalition, in addition to numerous other pro-energy institutions in Louisiana, has spoken out against the lawsuit, listing concerns it has with the allegations of the lawsuit and legal battles in general as a course of action.
“The message being sent to thousands of New Orleanians who have made their lives and raised their families in the City of New Orleans is that their work, their years of paying taxes, rebuilding their homes and neighborhoods, and their value to the community means nothing," Marc Ehrhardt, executive director of Grow Louisiana Coalition told Louisiana Record. "The city would rather sue them.”
While New Orleans' lawsuit alleges the oil and gas companies have been negligent in their maintenance and that their operations have caused the coastline to be eroded, Ehrhardt stands by his belief that lawsuits are not the way to solve problems.
“Lawsuits do not build relationships. They end them," he said. "If this issue was about truly working together on coastal management and building, then the city would recognize that New Orleans’ energy industry is already a dedicated partner in addressing Louisiana’s coast. The people and businesses of New Orleans need jobs for everyone, not lawsuits.”