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Mar-16-2012 15:36printcomments

Environmental Coalition, Louisiana Truth, Says Attacks on Louisiana Landowners by Oil and Gas Industry Lack Facts

A recent study by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed that when “legacy lawsuits” are filed, these cases are decided strictly on the basis of objective scientific evidence.

Louisiana Truth
Courtesy: Louisiana Truth

(BATON ROUGE) - Louisiana landowners, who lease their lands to oil and gas companies to support the continued exploration and production of these resources in Louisiana are being unfairly attacked by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch and other industry representatives and Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature should be deeply concerned about the irrational claims, said Cheron Brylski,, on behalf of 16 citizen organizations. said it is particularly concerned about claims made by the LSU CENTER FOR ENERGY STUDIES in a report, The Impact of Legacy Lawsuits on Conventional Oil and Gas Drilling in Louisiana, since the advisory council for the center is nothing but oil and gas representatives, as evidenced at

Ms. Brylski said repeatedly, the oil companies have walked away and abandoned their responsibilities once they finished producing the oil and gas from beneath Louisiana land, leaving the innocent landowner holding the bag to clean up the contamination they left behind. When the landowners’ requests to have the contamination removed are ignored, the landowners are left with no alternative but to file a lawsuit to enforce their contracts with the oil companies.

“Remarkably, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has launched a massive campaign to convince the public that oil and gas operators should not be held to the contracts they signed in order to go onto private lands and produce the oil and gas. Simply put, they want a special favor giving them immunity from contamination—something that no other industry has,” said Ms. Brylski.

“Indeed, when the oil and gas operators have forced landowners to sue for clean up, their trade association insinuates that Louisiana citizens who seek to have their lands cleaned up from the contamination left by the oil companies are somehow being frivolous.”

A recent study by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed that when “legacy lawsuits” are filed, these cases are decided strictly on the basis of objective scientific evidence.

When a landowner sues for contamination, each side has environmental experts who take soil and groundwater samples from the property and submit them to independent laboratories. When the laboratories both identify excessive amounts of chlorides, radioactive materials, and other typical oilfield contaminants, a process outlined by Act 312 begins.

“Basically, the oil and gas industry wants citizens to believe that if they are held liable for their contamination, much of which is radioactive, they will stop drilling for oil and gas in Louisiana. This is a ludicrous claim,” said Ms. Brylski.

Louisiana Truth released a rebuttal that utiltized oil industry reports which said drilling permits have continued to increase in the state.

“As long as oilfield operators think they can find oil or gas in Louisiana, they will drill here, come hell or high water. Lawsuits mean next to nothing to these companies, who continue to make record profits year after year,” said Ms. Brylski. “Less anyone in this state forget, even after the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, BP reported net profits of $25.7 billion in 2011.”

Louisiana Truth’s position on Act 312 is endorsed by
▪ Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

▪ Bayou Grace Community Services
▪ Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO)
▪ Bayou Rebirth, Gulf Change, Gulf Restoration Network
▪ Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)
▪ Louisiana Health Access Network
▪ Louisiana Women’s Network

▪ Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
▪ On Wings of Care
▪ Sierra Club, Delta Chapter
▪ Sierra Club, New Orleans
▪ Sierra Club, Baton Rouge
▪ Sierra Club, Acadiana

▪ Sierra Club, Kisatchie
▪ Sierra Club, Honey Island
▪ Southwings

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