In 2013, Plaquemines Parish filed a set of lawsuits against dozens of oil and gas companies and their contractors for destroying and polluting wetlands. The suits allege that the companies ignored clear, unambiguous state laws that required coastal land used by oil and gas companies to be carefully and properly maintained, and restored to its original condition upon completion of operations. The failure to take those actions has been linked to significant coastal erosion in the state, loss of property, and loss of life. Coastal wetlands are a critical component in the state’s coastal lines of defense against storm surge and ferocious winds during hurricanes and tropical storms.

Last week, the Plaquemines Parish Council bowed down to their oily masters and with a 5-to-1 vote, passed a resolution instructing the attorneys to drop the lawsuits.

The council’s move was a clear indication that the Oil and Gas industry controls the political will of Plaquemines Parish. It is corruption, pure and simple. It is the hijacking of our democracy.

While last week’s vote is disappointing, it is not entirely surprising. Below, you will see a series of photos of Oil and Gas canal damages in Plaquemines parish. I urge readers to call the Council members (names and numbers below) that voted for the resolution to drop the lawsuits and tell them: “Shame on you. How dare you bend to oil and gas corruption and sacrifice the future of our coastal communities. Zero jobs have been lost because of these lawsuits. Jobs have been cut by the industry because the companies don’t truly care about our workers and when the going gets tough, such as the case now with the low price of oil, our brothers, sisters, family, friends and neighbors are completely expendable.”

Charlie Burt – District 6
(504) 934-6421
Kirk Lepine –  District 3
Irvin Juneau – District 4
Jeff Edgecombe – District 8
(504) 934-3630
Nicole Smith Williams – District 9
(504) 934-3830

Audrey Trufant-Salvant was the onlyCouncil member not to cave in to the industry. Give her a call as well at (504) 934-3640 and say thank you.

Click on each of the photos to enlarge.

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