Suing oil and gas companies could deter investment in New Orleans festivals

By Carrie Bradon | May 10, 2019

As the City of New Orleans levies lawsuits against the oil and gas companies it says are responsible for the state's coastal erosion, multiple industry groups are speaking out about the negative implications of going to war with such massive economic players.

According to, questions remain as to whether or not the oil and gas companies in New Orleans will pull their funding for events such as the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest, two of the city's biggest happenings, in reaction to the lawsuits being filed against them. 

"It is very short-sighted of local government officials to side with trial attorneys over corporate citizens who are part of the fabric of New Orleans," Lana Venable, executive director of the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW), told Louisiana Record. "Energy companies are intrinsically tied to the region’s culture and tourism economy."

Venable said the companies do a great deal to support the City of New Orleans and it is unlikely that the city's move to push their operations out or limit them will have a positive impact on the industry's relationship to the city.

Lana Venable, executive director of the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch  

"These companies invest significant dollars, as well as the time and talent of their employees, for the betterment of the city and its residents – not to mention the direct and indirect jobs and tax revenues they generate," Venable said.

Venable also said that it would be well within the oil and gas companies' rights to seek out a better business climate, as the city is sending clear signs to them that they are not welcome in New Orleans.

"It is unfortunate to see Orleans Parish jump on the 'jackpot justice' bandwagon, taking for granted the long-term investments of the energy sector," she said. "Who could blame these companies if they decide to focus their philanthropic efforts where they are actually valued?"

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