Healthy oil and gas industry is essential to Louisiana | Letter

This November 2014 file photo shows the Hess Gulfstar oil platform at the Tubular Bells field, which is located about 135 miles southeast of New Orleans in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Photo supplied by Hess Corp.)

Over the last 15 years, Louisiana’s energy industry has contributed more than $1 billion to coastal restoration and hurricane protection through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. GOMESA is one of the largest funding sources for the state’s coastal efforts through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Agency. These revenues are generated through offshore lease sales and energy production. The more lease sales and energy production, the more funds for building the coast.

Just this year, Louisiana received more than $156 million from GOMESA to restore the coast. Clearly, supporting Louisiana energy production means supporting our coast.

Meanwhile, during the past 10 years, lawsuits against the energy industry have led to nothing and contributed $0 to coastal restoration. Instead, they are costing us. A 2019 Pelican Institute report found that at least 2,000 jobs were lost over a two-year period after the coastal lawsuits were first filed, causing more than $70 million in lost wages for Louisianians.

The Southeast Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit championed by John Barry could have cost taxpayers more than $12 million, according to a 2014 estimate.

Mr. Barry has trumpeted these frivolous lawsuits for a decade without a cent ever going to Louisiana’s coast, while Louisiana’s energy industry continues to invest in building the coast each year.

After a decade, the only people still saying these lawsuits are a good idea are Mr. Barry and the trial lawyers who are involved.


executive director, Grow Louisiana Coalition

New Orleans

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