Thursday, 07 April 2016 15:56

Louisiana Governor Edwards joins AG Landry in lawsuit vs. oil, gas companies

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Today, the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Thomas Harris, as instructed by Governor John Bel Edwards, intervened in the 39 coastal damage lawsuits that have been filed by Plaquemines, Jefferson, and Cameron Parishes. The filing of a petition to intervene for the State of Louisiana by DNR follows the intervention of Attorney General Jeff Landry in the same cases.

Over the past three years, the parishes filed suit against a number of oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation companies, claiming the actions of those companies caused damage to coastal lands and water bodies.

“This intervention would ensure that the interests of the State of Louisiana are fully protected and that any money recovered in these suits will be spent on coastal restoration,” said Gov. Edwards. “The administration’s participation means that all of the coastal stakeholders are now at the table, and I look forward to working with the attorney general and the parishes to bring this matter to a resolution. Louisiana has been tremendously blessed with oil and gas resources and we have a long history of a partnership with the industry that is critical to Louisiana’s economy. While we need to require that everyone follow the law and meet their obligations, any solution of these suits has to be focused on working with the industry to restore Louisiana’s coast.”

Secretary Thomas Harris stated, “As Secretary of DNR, I have the legal responsibility to enforce coastal use permits and to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of those permits. If there were violations of those permits that are proved in these suits, this intervention will allow DNR to be fully involved in working towards a fair solution that is in Louisiana’s best interest.”

Attorney General Jeff Landry said, “As the State's chief legal officer, I welcome the administration’s intervention in these cases and look forward to working together to advance Louisiana’s best interests. As I stated when I intervened two weeks ago, we can balance the tremendous benefits of the oil and gas industry that employs thousands of our neighbors and the ongoing coastal crisis that threatens our very existence. I believe the governor and the secretary share these same concerns.”

(Governor Office press release)

Last modified on Thursday, 07 April 2016 17:35
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