Turning back the destruction of Louisiana’s coastline


General Honoré replacing Bush’s flunky – turning around the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort

After decades of watching our state being ravaged to support the nation’s oil and gas addiction, the people of Louisiana have had enough.

Last summer, an independent government authority responsible for flood protection for the New Orleans area sued more than 90 oil and gas companies for damaging coastal marshes that protect the city.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East didn’t specify the damages it sought. But the cost of rebuilding and protecting the state’s coastal marshlands has been estimated at roughly $50 billion.

Now those industries and their political allies here in the state capital are trying to kill this legal challenge by passing a law that would restrict the authority’s power to sue over violations of state coastal permits. Proponents have said it would provide defendants with grounds to seek the lawsuit’s dismissal.

This isn’t the first effort to kill this lawsuit. More than a dozen bills have been introduced in the State Legislature since March to effectively do so. All but one has stalled. A final effort to restrict the authority’s power to sue these industries is expected to come Thursday before the State House of Representatives, where it has the support of the Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, and legislative allies of oil and gas. The bill has already passed the Senate. The House needs to defeat the bill.

That won’t assure us that the oil and gas industries will fix the damage they’ve caused to our coast over decades. But it will give the citizens of Louisiana their day in court to stand up and say, “We’ve had enough.”

The fertile marshes, tidal flats and barrier islands of coastal Louisiana are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. These coastal lands provide essential habitat to migratory and native waterfowl. They are home to shrimp, crabs and oysters that feed the nation. They are the nursery for the rich bounty of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and the source of tens of thousands of jobs.

To the people of metropolitan New Orleans and south Louisiana, these coastal lands are also something much more: the first line of defense against the single greatest threat we face — catastrophic flooding because of hurricanes. But these lands have been vanishing before our eyes.

Republican governor Bobby Jindal and the other pimps for Big Oil from both parties in the Louisiana Legislature did what they were paid to do. They voted YES for the bill preserving oil companies, gas companies, chemical plants from being sued for the damage they do to the state of Louisiana wetlands with their pipelines and canals.

General Russel Honoré’s Green Army has been effectively blocked by a Fifth Column of political gangsters who are owned lock, stock and barrel by the gas and oil extractive industries of Louisiana. The corrupt thugs in the statehouse pass a retroactive law to protect their moneyboys from a law suit already in process and considered apt and appropriate by the courts of that state.

Time for that Green Army to march to the polls, General.

Thanks, Mike

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