The oil and gas industry partially funds the America’s Wetland Foundation. Recently, an online survey commissioned by the AWF of 400 people who reside in Louisiana asked questions about the the loss and injury to the coastal areas and wetlands in the state.
While the survey did not specifically ask questions or reference the lawsuit by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Authority-East against almost 100 oil and gas companies, it did ask several questions about the damage that has been done. In addition, questions were asked about how best to approach restoration efforts.
The survey showed that 90 percent of the respondents believe that the federal government should be responsible for coastal area protection – specifically for those areas that supply the country with energy.
Almost everyone that responded said that a joint effort is needed in order for the affected areas to be restored. A similar response was given when asked if the environmental and energy leaders needed to cooperate more. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said that the destruction of the coastal areas is the most important issue they will see in their lifetimes.
While this survey is a small sampling of those in Louisiana, there is little doubt as to the impact the damage to the coastal areas is having on the state. The current SLFPA-E lawsuit seeks to hold the oil and gas industry responsible for the damage to the wetlands caused by dredging and the construction of pipelines and canals. Although the lawsuit has considerable support, there is also opposition – particularly from Governor Jindal’s administration.