For the numerous oil and gas companies with operations in New Orleans, the recent onslaught of coastal erosion lawsuits presents new challenges.
In addition to considering what their course of action should be in response to the legal threats, these companies must also determine whether it is in their best interest to continue to support a city trying to push them out. According to Nola.com, industry groups are concerned that the oil and gas companies may stop putting their money into New Orleans as well as cease corporate sponsorships in light of the city's decision to file a lawsuit against them.
Such action, though nothing has been announced yet, would put events such as the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz Fest in jeopardy as energy companies have long been their main sponsors.
"I cannot say exactly how the lawsuit will affect the energy companies’ investments in New Orleans," Marc Ehrhardt, executive director of Grow Louisiana Coalition, told Louisiana Record. "But it would makes sense for companies to choose to invest their capital and assets in communities with potential for growth. Unfortunately, Mayor [LaToya] Cantrell’s lawsuit demonstrates that New Orleans is just the opposite.”
As of now, according to Nola.com, both Shell and Chevron have not decided their long-term plan in regard to funding, but neither has determined to pull funding out of New Orleans yet. Chevron is a major funder of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and the Boys & Girls Club, to name a couple of well-known organizations.
The list of groups named in the lawsuit includes Apache Louisiana Minerals, Aspect Energy, Chaparral Energy, Chevron USA Inc., Collins Pipeline Co., Entergy New Orleans, EOG Resources Inc., ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., Gulf South Pipeline Co., Southern Natural Gas Co., and Whiting Oil and Gas Corp.