Last week, Healthy Gulf Organizing Fellow, Justin Solet, testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources as a representative of his people of the United Houma Nation and his fellow Louisianians.
The hearing, entitled “Safeguarding American Jobs and Economic Growth: Examining the Future of the Offshore Leasing Program”, was held to discuss the future of the 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan, as well as the future of energy sector jobs in the Gulf. The need for a just transition to clean, renewable energy in the Gulf is painfully evident as we suffer through the hottest Summer on record and experience the impacts of severe weather fueled by the ongoing climate crisis.
Justin Solet testified before the Subcommittee alongside a panel of witnesses including Lafourche Parish President, Archie Cahisson III, Danos Energy CEO, Paul Danos, and Arena Energy CEO, Michael Minarovic.
Justin spoke passionately about his upbringing in Dulac, Louisiana in a family of fisherfolk and shrimpers. He testified to the damage done to his ancestral lands by the thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines that carve through the wetlands and swamps of coastal Louisiana. He spoke of the destruction wrought by the 2010 BP Oil Spill and provided first-hand accounts of the lackadaisical attitude of the oil and gas industry with regards to safety and environmental cleanliness.
Here are some highlights from the hearing and Justin’s testimony:
Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA) addresses the Committee
Watch the full hearing here: