In the midst of the coastal lawsuits that have been filed against the oil and gas industry, groups that support these industries are beginning to speak out against what they believe to be unfair targeting of a single industry.
Tyler Gray, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, recently contributed a letter to The Advocate as an op-ed. As president of one of the most prominent energy associations in the state, Gray condemns the legal attack tactics being brought against the oil and gas industry, explaining why the blame is unwarranted.
According to Gray, and contrary to claims by municipalities' trial attorneys, the energy industry has brought over 260,000 jobs to the state of Louisiana while also paying more than $2 billion in annual state taxes. Gray also explains that instead of harming the environment, the gas and oil industry has been one of the most involved players when it comes to improving the coastal conditions following hurricanes, as well as helping to fund protective measure against future hurricanes.
Gray writes that the earliest of the coastal lawsuits, which was filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority in 2013, was described as a “regulatory scheme,” which lacked merit. Unfortunately, these lawsuits have not lost their attraction for trial lawyers who seek to gain large payouts from lucrative industries, such as the gas and oil industry. The groups suing the oil and gas industries have alleged that the industry has violated state-approved coastal use permits, claiming that it was these violations that led to the coastal land damages.
“Louisiana’s legal challenges are a critical issue for all businesses and LMOGA is committed to advocating for collaboration not litigation to ensure a bright future for our state’s economy,” Gray told Louisiana Record.