NEW ORLEANS – A recently published op-ed calls into question the damages that the oil and gas industry may suffer from efforts of some parishes pursuing coastal erosion litigation.
In a May 3 posting on the dailycomet.com, Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, wrote about the possible negative outcomes from Terrebonne Parish’s investment in the coastal erosion lawsuit battle.
Bishop said the parish’s hiring of private plaintiffs’ lawyers is a clear indicator of seriously misguided priorities.
“If these suits really are about protecting the coast as DNR (Louisiana Department of Natural Resources) and the administration have claimed, then they should be working with the very people who live and work on the coast – not against them,” Bishop said.
James Baehr, general counsel for the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, discussed Bishop’s article with the Louisiana Record.
“"Rather than respecting the wishes of the people of Terrebonne Parish and their elected representatives, Baton Rouge bureaucrats are teaming up with private plaintiff's lawyers to threaten the region's longstanding energy sector partners with litigation,” Baehr said.
Bishop said that the years of litigation in Louisiana have been far from helpful when it comes to improving the business climate in the state and this action by Terrebonne Parish is more of the same, with the lawsuits only encouraging businesses and individuals to seek more business-friendly locations.
Terrebonne and Lafayette have both been impacted by the decline in oil and gas production, which clearly correlates to the harsh climate surrounding the oil industry, Baehr said.
“Louisiana earned its third-straight worst state in the country award from U.S. News & World Report. It's no wonder when those who create jobs and opportunity for hardworking Louisianans are rewarded with lawsuits."