As we discussed last week, the Central Committee of the Louisiana Democratic Party was set to vote on Saturday, Feb. 8, on a resolution that would support the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. The lawsuit seeks to hold the oil and gas companies accountable for the injury and damage to the wetlands and coastal areas. All but one of the members — 210 total — voted in favor of the solution.
The lawsuit alleges that the canals through the coastal areas brought larger amounts of seawater into the wetlands, which caused land loss and left the vegetation weakened.
The lawsuit brought a swift response from Governor Bobby Jindal and his coastal advisor, Garret Graves. The administration is opposed to the lawsuit and the governor has removed proponents from the SLFPA-E’s board, such as author John Barry. Barry was in attendance at Saturday’s meetings, asking for support for the lawsuit. He said that he hopes to address the Republican Party as well.
There has been substantial talk about a possible bill in the March 10 legislative session that would limit government entities from filing such lawsuits unless there was approval from the governor. However, no similar bill has been filed yet. That topic, though, was one that garnered considerable consideration at the meeting.
In addition to approving the resolution, the Democrats are encouraging local and state governments and boards “to seek judicial remedies.”
Some environmental issues often end up in court in order to find some sort of permanent solution. Using all legal resources available can help those who are concerned with a specific environmental problem.
Source: The Associated Press, “Louisiana Democratic Party backs lawsuits against oil and gas industry” No author given, Feb. 09, 2014