New Orleans has joined six other southern Louisiana parishes by filing a lawsuit against oil and gas companies because of their roles in coastal land loss, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced late last week.
It echoes other efforts sought to make the energy companies accountable for damage done throughout the years to wetlands and marshes by damages caused by decades of drilling and dredging.
Not only New Orleans has been harmed, but much of the state of Louisiana has been hurt by damages inflicted here during past years. Much leeway was allowed for oil and drilling companies to get their oil and minerals out of the ground and to customers around the country.
“New Orleans has been harmed,” Cantrell said. “And our way of life is threatened by the damage done to our coastal wetlands.”
The suit also names a dozen defendants, including the New Orleans electrical utility, Entergy New Orleans, Chevron and, Exxon Mobil, and calls on them to pay to restore the wetlands. Defendants in the suit include Apache Louisiana Minerals, Aspect Energy, Chaparral Energy, Chevron, Collins Pipeline, Gulf South Pipeline Co., Southern Natural Gas Co., and Whiting Oil and Gas Co.
The suit alleges energy companies failed to maintain the canals they used to access and transport oil and gas, and that pipelines through the wetlands caused further damage.
“Because each defendant failed to either contain its operations within permitted bounds or secure a coastal use permit when required, to simply follow the rules, to fix what they broke, the network of canals and other facilities they allowed to degrade the coastal lands has ravaged New Orleans protective landscape, according to the suit.