It doesn’t seem to be as much a battle between environmentalists and big oil as it does about a battle between Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The Louisiana Record reported Dec. 4 that the standoff between the two officials is partly due to the reversal of Judge Stephen Enright Jr.’s decision to allow Jefferson Parish to move forward with its complaint against nine oil and gas companies. The decision argued that compliance would not be enough to resolve the damages caused by the companies. The result will likely set a precedent to other parishes across the state, resulting in billions of dollars of coastal restoration, paid for by oil and gas companies.
According to the Record, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) stated that the reversal of the earlier decision was the result of Edwards’ tactics to squeeze more funds to add to the state’s budget.
Landry, in a written statement to the Times-Picayune, said:
I believe our citizens will demand that we find a way to balance the tremendous benefits of the oil and gas industry with a solution to our coastal crisis, and the attorney general, who has strong ties to oil and gas companies and has taken significant political contributions from them over the years.