Pelican Institute opposes legal action targeting perceived impact of coastal erosion

By Carrie Bradon | Apr 17, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans has joined six parishes that have filed a lawsuit alleging that oil and gas companies in Louisiana are contributing to coastal erosion, but drawing the opposition of a public policy group.

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

The lawsuit also seeks payment for the alleged damage and names defendants including 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.

Pelican Institute for Public Policy supports energy businesses in New Orleans, viewing them as major players in the local economy and as such as opposed to this action being taken by the parishes.

“As Louisiana’s jobs climate continues to lag behind the rest of the nation, it is disheartening to see New Orleans put politics over the best interests of the city’s working families. Lawsuits like this have historically failed, but not before hurting local economies by driving away job creators,” James Baehr, general counsel for the Pelican Institute told Louisiana Record.

Although it is no surprise that this lawsuit is surfacing in New Orleans, Baehr said, it stands to injure the economy, as the energy industry is one which provides thousands of jobs throughout the state and hindering its operations may result in negative impacts for these local companies. 

“Just a few weeks ago, the governor of Texas thanked Louisiana leaders for chasing jobs out of our state and growing Texas’ economy due to our uninviting legal and regulatory environment," Baehr said. "No wonder more than 500 people moved into Texas each day last year for opportunity, while 1,000 residents left Louisiana every month.” 

Baehr firmly believes the lawsuit will do more harm than good, despite allegations that the energy industry is harming the commerce, culture and economy of New Orleans

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