The News-Star, Monroe, Louisiana on protecting Louisiana’s coast amid oil exploration
The News-Star, Monroe, Louisiana on protecting Louisiana’s coast amid oil exploration:
Louisiana residents understand the importance of protecting and restoring our fragile and rapidly receding coast. They also understand the oil and gas industry has been the lifeblood of the state’s economy for generations.
But for some time, the need to protect the coast and the need to have a strong oil and gas industry have been at odds with each other, after the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed suit against 97 oil and gas companies over land loss they said was caused by drilling operations and digging the network of canals that crisscross the coastal parishes.
Legislation recently signed into law ended the lawsuits. Among other things, it excludes government agencies like the SLFPA-East, better known as the levee board, from suing oil and gas companies.
Amid the bitter debate and legal wrangling, one overriding fact seems to have gotten lost: The interests of the oil and gas industry and environmentalists are not — or shouldn’t be — mutually exclusive. There can be a thriving petroleum industry in this state without sacrificing Louisiana’s environmental well-being. ...
We urge oil and gas industry representatives and parish officials to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions. We urge the oil industry and its affiliated landowners to step up with realistic solutions, including financial solutions.
Surely, these problems can be resolved outside the courts and outside the Legislature.