A full-page advertisement has appeared in The Advocate newspaper on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in support of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against nearly 100 oil and gas companies. The advertisement features Russell Honore, who is a retired lieutenant general best known for bringing order to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
General Honore states in the advertisement that “As citizens, the only recourse you and I have left is the courts.” The National Resources Defense Council and Levees.org, two environmental groups, paid for the advertisement.
General Honore has been very quiet when it comes to political issues; however, he has become more vocal about environmental issues. The support of the general is well-timed, as the SLFPA-E has been under heavy opposition from Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, and his coastal advisor, Garrett Graves. The lawsuit, which was filed in July, asks for the oil and gas companies to be held accountable for the damage and injury that has been done to the Louisiana coast and wetlands by dredging, and the building of pipelines and canals.
The governor says the lawsuit is nothing more than a “windfall for trial lawyers.” Graves said that if the SLFPA-E doesn’t drop the lawsuit, then the governor will appoint new members to the authority’s board. As many as four seats could be appointed, although the SLFPA-E would still have hold a slight majority in its current nine-member board of members for the lawsuit.
According to Levees.org, General Honore was not paid for his endorsement for the lawsuit. Levees.org, though, was part of a collection of environmental groups that accused Governor Jindal last week of opposing the lawsuit because of the substantial amount of political campaign contributions he has received in the past decade from the oil and gas industry.