New information about coastal lawsuits against the energy industry has come out that should be concerning to all of us as we go to the polls this October.
In a recent report, The Pelican Institute for Public Policy revealed Baton Rouge bureaucrats in Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources ceded its authority over a massive coastal lawsuit against the energy industry to a trial attorney whose firm represents the parishes involved in the suit.
This attorney now stands to gain handsomely if this suit moves forward, meanwhile, hardworking Louisianans lose out on jobs and Louisiana loses out on economic opportunities.
The DNR may argue that by outsourcing litigation to trial attorneys, the state can save money by not assuming the cost of lawsuits. However, the DNR never even took the time to prove our state should be party to these lawsuits.
Any one-time “profits” from these suits cannot reverse the economic damage the lawsuits have already caused, restore the jobs lost, or return the lost wages to hardworking Louisianians.
Since 2013, there have been 43 coastal lawsuits filed against nearly 200 energy companies. According to a 2019 study, The Pelican Institute found that as a result of these lawsuits, the total economic loss for the state of Louisiana is anywhere from $44.4 million to $113 million each year.
These numbers are frightening not only for Louisiana workers but also for many of Louisiana’s coastal parishes which rely heavily on revenue generated by the energy industry to provide for coastal conservation efforts. Meanwhile, these lawsuits against the industry have delivered zero dollars for coastal restoration in more than a decade.
The blatant cronyism demonstrated by the DNR’s handling of coastal lawsuits against energy companies demonstrates that Louisiana needs change, and that change starts at the voting booth.
This election, let’s vote to support the energy industry, our state’s number one economic driver and contributor to coastal restoration.
Grow Louisiana Coalition