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Business and industry leaders fear erosion lawsuits will ‘chase the golden goose away’


May 9, 2019
By Carrie Bradon
Originally Posted on The Louisiana Record

The City of New Orleans is joining six parishes in a lawsuit alleging the oil and gas industry is to blame for the coastal erosion that is eating away at the state’s coastline.

According to The Advocate, the lawsuit was filed in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court and claims that New Orleans has been harmed by the operations of energy companies such as Entergy New Orleans, Chevron and ExxonMobil. The lawsuit seeks payment for the alleged damage and names defendants including Apache Louisiana Minerals LLC, Aspect Energy LLC, Chaparral Energy LLC, Chevron, Collins Pipeline, EOG Resources, ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., Gulf South Pipeline Co., Southern Natural Gas Co. and Whiting Oil and Gas Corp.

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) opposes the lawsuit because it believes it will only harm the economy.

“This current shortsighted approach is setting our citizens up for failure," Stephen Waguespack, the group's president and CEO, said in an interview with Louisiana Record. "We must put a stop to this destructive and excessive lawsuit culture against these job-creating industries. These lawsuits across the state put Louisiana jobs at stake – jobs that help fuel the Louisiana economy. Let’s not chase the golden goose away.”

The lawsuit goes into great detail about the allegations of how the state and City of New Orleans specifically have been harmed by coastal erosion, claiming that by not maintaining canals they use to transport oil and gas, the energy companies are responsible for the damage. The suit also alleges the companies’ failure to contain operations is harming New Orleans’ landscape as well as the city’s commerce, transportation, economy and culture.