Three new board members of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East have been appointed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The new appointees met with the levee board for the first time since their appointment. Many supporters of the lawsuit filed by the SLFPA-E wonder what position the new members will take in reference to the lawsuit.
One man who is tirelessly working to drum up even more support for the lawsuit is John Barry. The former vice-president of the SLFPA-E levee board has announced that he is working to form an organization that will lobby for legislative support for the lawsuit. That court action seeks reparations from 97 oil and gas companies for damage and injury to Louisiana’s wetlands.
The suit asserts that the building of pipelines and canals has caused severe damage to the state’s coastal areas – ones that are supposed to provide protection during hurricane surges.
The lawsuit has been strongly opposed by Governor Jindal and his aides. Garrett Graves, the governor’s coastal advisor, has repeatedly said that the SLFPA-E “exceeded its authority” when it filed the lawsuit. In addition, Graves believes that the agreements and ventures that are in place between the oil and gas industry and the state will be jeopardized by the lawsuit.
The president of the SLFPA-E, Tim Doody, still has his position, although the governor has not appointed him to another term. The governor and his aides repeatedly said that those who supported the lawsuit would not be reappointed. Doody recused himself from the vote on whether to file the lawsuit, claiming a possible conflict between the law firm he works for and its potential to become involved.
Environmental concerns must be addressed in order to protect the planet. In many cases, the only means of addressing those concerns is through a civil action.