The Louisiana state Senate could vote as soon as today on legislation that would take away parishes’ ability to defend our wetlands – take action now!
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands help filter our drinking water, protect coastal communities from flooding, and provide habitat for fish and other wildlife.
Louisiana’s state legislature reconvened this month, and oil & gas lobbyists have sprung into action to defend the interests of their industry, even at the expense of our coastal wetlands and the communities who depend on them. The legislature is considering at least two pieces of the legislation that would make it harder to hold the oil and gas industry accountable:
- SCR7 urges the state legislature to put pressure on coastal Parish officials to dismiss coastal zone lawsuits they’ve filed against oil and gas companies in response to industry activities that have damaged Louisiana’s wetlands.
- SB359 would impede our parishes’ legal authority to litigate on coastal use permit violations, effectively killing the oil and gas lawsuits they’ve filed against the industry. It’s time that the oil & gas industry paid their fair share of the costs to rebuild our coast.
Our southern parishes have filed suit for good reason: industry activities have directly contributed to the destruction of Louisiana’s wetlands and it will take immense financial resources to restore our state’s fragile coastal ecosystems. Moving forward, coastal restoration and water management will continue to be major employers in Louisiana and the success of coastal restoration is a life or death struggle for many of the communities in southern Louisiana.
In September 2019, after a five year push, mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc settled the first of these suits with a Baton Rouge firm representing coastal parishes. This was a groundbreaking deal that will result in the corporation paying out $100 million in cash and environmental credits that will be used to fund coastal restoration efforts. But this legislation could jeopardize that deal and make it much harder to hold other companies accountable.