Oil damage suit needs compromise

June 13, 2014 at 9:38 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The current disagreement between our state government in Baton Rouge and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is a big problem and we’re not certain there is an easy solution to it.

The flood protection authority has filed suit against 97 oil and gas companies for damages they caused to the land that they drilled and did not repair, according to permit agreements that have been on the books in Louisiana for many years. Clearly, the companies are guilty of violating the permits by not making the required repairs.

But then the years rolled by and the disrepair in many cases was not attended to. The companies are to blame for ignoring the repairs required in the permits. The state is to blame for not making the oil and gas companies perform those repairs.

As time went by, the disrepair was almost forgotten until the flood protection authority’s lawsuit was filed recently. Then agitation arose in the state capital where, probably, the governor and legislators receive political contributions from oil and gas companies.

Now the legislature and governor have passed and signed a bill killing the flood protection authority’s lawsuit.

Whether or not they had a right to do so remains to be seen.At this point, it seems that the only resolution is for both sides to meet amicably and discuss the lawsuit’s pros and cons. Hopefully they can then reach a compromise with figures that will help the state repair the damages with consideration of the state’s lack of attention in enforcing the law at the proper time.

The state government can then pass a law that will provide for the compromise. That way, both sides will help pay the price for the damage done.

The oil and gas companies certainly have been beneficial to the economy of Louisiana. By giving in some to the government’s error in lack of proper enforcement, the state will help relieve the companies’ burden due to its negligence.

And, above all, we need to get the state on the right track in enforcing its laws properly in the future.

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