Gov. John Bel Edwards | Photo by Marie Constantin
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch.is criticizing Gov. John Bel Edwards over his support for coastal erosion lawsuits against oil and gas companies, saying it sends the wrong message to one of the biggest economic engines in the state.
“LLAW has long opposed coastal lawsuits," Lana Venable told the Louisiana Record. "These attacks on the oil and gas industry send a message that these companies are not welcome here and provide no incentive for future expansion. Not only have these companies provided well-paying jobs for generations of Louisiana families, they have also invested heavily in protecting our working coast. Working cooperatively to utilize industry expertise is a much more productive path to identifying long-term coastal solutions.”
She added, “The energy industry is critical to Louisiana’s economy. This fall, none of this should be lost on voters who value jobs and economic development over lawsuits.”
One person on the ballot has already vowed to turn things around. Rep. Ralph Abraham, who is running for governor, said in a recent statement that he plans to end Edwards’ “war on our oil and gas industry.”
“Let’s be clear, our oil and gas industry hasn’t taken a beating from the economy," Abraham said. "It’s taken a beating from John Bel Edwards and his trial attorney donors."
Abraham pointed out that shortly after he became governor, Edwards distributed a letter to parish leaders and warned them to sue oil and gas companies before he took legal action himself. At that time, gas and oil companies in the state were the source of more than 260,000 jobs and brought in more than $2 billion in annual taxes, according to Abraham’s statement. He insisted that one of his first acts at governor will be to put an end to the local war.
Another candidate for governor, Eddie Risponse, was quoted in The Advocate as saying, “I’m going to do everything I possibly can as governor to reverse what we have today by this governor. Thousands of jobs are lost to feed these greedy trial lawyers.”