Oil Washes over the Louisiana Senate

Aerial view of St. Bernard Parish, LA shows the extensive damage to coastal wetlands caused by oil and gas activities. April 11, 2014. Photo: GRN. The oil and gas industry’s campaign to avoid repairing Louisiana’s coastal wetlands passed through the state Senate May 7 by a vote of 24-15. Senators Allain and Adley led the charge on behalf of the industry in a blatant attempt to retroactively block the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies. Senator J.P. Morrell and many others stood up for Louisiana residents and the flood authority’s independence (See below to find out how your Senator voted.).Oil and gas activities in Louisiana’s sensitive coastal wetlands are responsible for at least 250,000 acres of land lost. The state’s coastal restoration master plan is expected to cost upwards of $50 billion, but the industry is not currently contributing financially in any significant way, nor are they repairing the damage they have caused. In many cases, government regulators are also failing to enforce permits which require restoration.We still can win this fight, but need to hold on in the House. Call or email your state legislators today. Thank your Senator if they did the right thing, and if they did not then let them know how you feel. Even more importantly, call your Representative, and tell them to stand up for Louisiana residents, not the oil and gas industry. Voting in favor of Senator Allain’s oil industry bail-out bill (voted wrong): Senate President John Alario, Adley, Allain, Jody Amadee, Sherri Smith Buffington, Norby Chabert, Dan Claitor, Patrick Page Cortez, Jack Donahue, Dale Erdey, Elbert Guillory, David Heitmeier, Ronnie Johns, Gerald Long, Blade Morrish, Barrow Peacock, Neil Riser, Gary Smith, John Smith, Gregory Tarver, Francis Thompson, Michael Walsworth, Rick Ward and Bodi White.Voting against (voted correctly): Conrad Appel, Sharon Weston Broome, A.G. Crowe, Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, Rick Gallot, Bob Kostelka, Martiny, Fred Mills, Morrell, Murray, Ben Nevers, Jonathan Perry and Karen Carter Peterson.Not voting were Troy Brown and Eric LaFleur.Call your state Representative at 225-342-6945. To find your representative visit here. Tell them to oppose the Big Oil bailout and defend the independence of the flood authority.Call your state Senator at 225-342-2040. To find your Senator visit here. See below to find out how your Senator voted, and either thank them for opposing the Big Oil bailout and defending the flood authority, or let them know you’re unhappy with their vote to bail out Big Oil and stick taxpayers with the bill for coastal restoration.Steve Murchie is GRN’s Campaign Director.

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