Southeast Flood Protection Authority East

We are going to make every attempt to collect reports, articles and information related to the Flood Protection Authority-East lawsuit against the oil and gas industry consolidated in one place. We would like to thank Jim Harris with Harris, DeVille & Assoc. for helping us keep track of all of the information as well as providing reports on meetings we were not able to attend. The articles and reports are going to be kept in as close to chronological order as possible. If you have an article or information that should be added, please email it to Gifford Briggs @ gifford@loga.la

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REPORTS

DOCUMENTS

VIDEOS

ARTICLES

 


REPORTS

John Barry of SLFPA-E speaks to the Baton Rouge Press Club – Harris DeVille - August 19, 2013

The Baton Rouge Press Club met today and heard from John Barry, Vice-President of
the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Agency-East (SLFPA-E). He said the purpose of the lawsuit filed last month against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies to require those companies to pay for damages to the state’s coast is to “try to save at least part of Louisiana.”

Full recap of the Press Club meeting prepared by Harris DeVille

 

Southeast Flood Protection Authority-East Monthly Meeting – Thursday August 15, 2012

A day after the Joint Transportation Committee meeting, the SLFPA-East held its monthly meeting in New Orleans. The commissioners walked into a room full of cameras and a standing ovation from the crowd, which included many members of the Eco- Socialist group, the Bucket Brigades, and the Serra Club. After getting through their normal business the lawsuit discussion began. John Barry opened up the conversation by reciting many of his same talking points, but also provided a lack-luster rebuttal to an overarching problem of the lawsuit: the loss of jobs in our industry. According to Barry, the jobs we lose will be made up and
supplemented by the jobs created by this lawsuit. Stephen Estopinal claimed that oil companies are not going to leave the state until there isn’t a drop of oil left in the ground, and the jobs will not be going anywhere until they can not find a person to do a hard days
work.

SLFPA-E August 15 meeting report

 

Joint Transportation Committee Hearing – Wednesday August 14, 2013

Senate Committee Chairman Robert Adley, R-Benton, indicated the meeting was called to hear from the levee board itself. Adley said at issue is the constitutional authority of the levee board to file this suit. The House and Senate Committees on Transportation met today to review and discuss Civil Action No. 13-6911, Division J-5, filed July 24, 2013 in the Civil District Court of the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, entitled “Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, Individually and as the Board Governing the Orleans Levee District, the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District and the East Jefferson Levee District v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, et. al.”

Joint Transportation Committee Meeting Report


DOCUMENTS

Petition for Damages and Injunctive Relief

Contingency Fee Agreement and Authority to Represent

July 16, 2013, AG approval of Resolution No. 06-06-13-04

Robert Adley Karent St. Germain Letter from Jones, Swanson, Huddel & Garrison

SLFPA-E Document Submitted to Joint Transportation Committee

SLFPA-E meeting agendas prepared for Joint Transportation Hearing

SLFPA-E Meeting Minutes Prepared for Joint Transportation Hearing

SLFPA-E Resolution Affirming Lawsuit – August 15

SLFPA-E Resolution Requesting AG Approval of Hiring Special Counsel

SLFPA-E Resolution for Consideration of Pause of the Lawsuit 

Attorney General Release Rebuking JohnBarry of SLFPA-E

LOGA Letter and Petition sent to the Attorney General

LOGA Letter to Board of Directors Regarding Letter and Petition to Attorney General

Plaintiff Motion to Remand to Civil District Court

John Barry Release on Lawsuit Sept 11, 2013 Alleging Political Pressure by LOGA and Federal Permit Violations

Leg_Auditor Response to SLFPA-E Request to Review Legal Contract

LOGA Petition Filed on 12.13.13

AG Answer to LOGA petition 1.9.14


VIDEOS

John Barry talks about the “Poison Pill”

LOGA TV – Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East Lawsuit

This video will examine the differing arguments surrounding the lawsuit filed by the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPAE) against 97 oil and gas companies. In the suit, the SLFPAE alleges that the oil and gas industry is the Chief reason for erosion along the coast of Louisiana. Authorities on the issue will show why the suit is egregious, what the board is truly seeking through the suit, and what the industry’s stance is for defending itself.
“Click here to view the video

 

Part 1 – Gifford Briggs Discussing the SLFPA-E Lawsuit with John Barry – WDSU News

WDSU Channel 6 News in New Orleans aired Norman Robinson’s show the Hot Seat Sunday evening at 10:30pm. This episode focused on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East’s lawsuit against the oil and gas industry. LOGA Vice-President Gifford Briggs and SLFPA-E Vice President John Barry answered questions and discussed the suit
“Click here to view the video

 

Part 2 – Gifford Briggs Discussing the SLFPA-E Lawsuit with John Barry – WDSU News
WDSU Channel 6 News in New Orleans aired Norman Robinson’s show the Hot Seat Sunday evening at 10:30pm. This episode focused on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East’s lawsuit against the oil and gas industry. LOGA Vice-President Gifford Briggs and SLFPA-E Vice President John Barry answered questions and discussed the suit
Click here to view the video


ARTICLES

Proposals to fill in canals not gaining much traction

At the heart of a lawsuit against a number of oil and gas companies filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East levee board is the question of how much damage was caused by dredging canals through Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. But landowners have long opposed one approach to minimizing the damage: backfilling the canals.


AG offers defense of role in Big Oil lawsuit

Caldwell’s office released a copy Thursday of his state court response to the lawsuit filed last month by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. The filing says Caldwell never approved the contract between the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East and private lawyers led by Gladstone Jones of New Orleans. It says Caldwell did review the board’s resolution to hire the lawyers, making sure it met legal requirements — a task he said he is required by law to do.


Proposals to fill in canals not gaining much traction

At the heart of a lawsuit against a number of oil and gas companies filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East levee board is the question of how much damage was caused by dredging canals through Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. But landowners have long opposed one approach to minimizing the damage: backfilling the canals.


Our Views: Suit’s terms evolving

Attorneys who are suing nearly 100 energy companies on behalf of a New Orleans-area levee board have agreed to take less money if the suit succeeds. They’ve also agreed to terms that should help the flood control board, rather than the attorneys, better control the lawsuit’s future. We welcome news of those changes, which were announced at a recent meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.


Lawyers representing levee authority in lawsuit against oil companies agree to limit potential earnings

The law firm representing the east bank levee authority in its controversial wetland damages lawsuit against nearly 100 oil, gas and pipeline companies has agreed to changes in the interpretation of its contract that will restrict how much money it earns if the suit is successful. The agreement was proposed by the Jones Swanson law firm a month ago in a letter sent to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, but made public after an closed-door session Thursday.


Federal judge takes no immediate action on whether to return east bank levee authority wetlands damage suit to state court

A wetland damages lawsuit filed by the east bank levee authority against nearly 100 oil, gas and pipeline companies should remain in federal court because the authority’s claims are made under federal laws, attorneys for the companies argued Wednesday. Not so, said attorneys representing the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, in arguments aimed at convincing U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown to return the suit to New Orleans Civil District Court, where it was originally filed in July.


Chevron VP blasts coastal erosion lawsuits

The vice president of Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Production and Exploration Division is denouncing environmental damage lawsuits filed this year against oil and gas companies. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East seeks billions of dollars in damages from oil and gas companies,which it blames for contributing to erosion along Louisiana’s coastline. Last month, Jefferson and Plaquemines filed a similar series of lawsuits seeking damages.


Levee board wants lawsuit against oil companies moved back to state court

A legal tug-of-war continued Wednesday in a state levee board’s lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies over the erosion of wetlands that protect the New Orleans area from hurricanes. The courtroom was so full of lawyers that extra chairs nearly filled the aisle as U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown heard arguments about whether to return the case to Orleans Parish Civil District Court, where the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed it in July.


East Bank levee authority suit spurs renewed push for tort reform

Calls to once again revisit tort reform in the state Legislature are growing louder ahead of the 2014 session, amplified by the negative reaction of industry groups to a massive coastal restoration lawsuit filed against oil and gas companies. The fight is nothing new, but the issue spurring it is. Nearly every year, the tete-a-tete pitting plaintiff attorneys against big industry plays out in the halls of the state Capitol. Business puts forth legislation to tighten restrictions around civil damages litigation; plaintiff lawyers try to block the bills, arguing they keep everyday Louisianians from having their rightful day in court.


Oil and gas association challenges AG’s approval of contract for coastal lawsuit
JEFF ADELSON

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has sued Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, arguing he should not have approved a New Orleans-area levee board’s contract with the lawyers representing it in a coastal erosion lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. The association, known as LOGA, demanded months ago that Caldwell rescind his approval for the contract between the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East and the law firms hired to pursue claims against energy companies that are potentially worth billions. Since then, Caldwell and opponents of the suit, including LOGA, have sparred over whether the contract should have been approved and whether the flood protection authority could legally hire the outside lawyers.


Louisiana Oil and Gas Assoc. sues state attorney general over approval of wetlands damages suit
Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The suit, filed by the industry group in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, asks a state judge to declare that Caldwell’s office improperly approved a contract between the levee authority and the Jones Swanson Huddell & Garrison LLC law firm and to issue an injunction rescinding that approval. That could result in the contract being declared improperly drawn, which could result in a halt to the case.


Rush to oppose coastal reclamation suit exposes weakness of Jindal’s case

It’s embarrassing enough that the governor of Louisiana would side with corporate interests in trying to abort the lawsuit filed last summer by public officials against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for damaging the coast. But equally telling is how rapidly he went ballistic on behalf of Big Oil.


Legislative Auditor: ‘Significant Legal Questions’ In Flood Authority Lawsuit
WWL

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East asked the state legislative auditor to review its contract with a team of outside attorneys.
The attorneys represent the board in a lawsuit, accusing 97 oil and gas companies of contributing to coastal erosion. Auditor Daryl Purpera concluded, there are “significant legal questions” about the board’s power to hire attorneys to work on a contingent basis.


Despite board’s reorganization, flood protection authority reaffirms massive lawsuit against oil industry

In what some thought may be a reversal of an earlier decision to pursue a massive lawsuit against 97 oil companies over Louisiana’s coastal land loss, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East reaffirmed its intention to go forward with the lawsuit in a Dec. 5 meeting.


East Bank levee authority votes to reaffirm wetlands damage lawsuit against energy companies

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East voted 5-3 during a special meeting Thursday (Dec. 5) to reaffirm its decision to file suit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies to force them to restore damaged wetlands outside the East Bank levee system or pay for damage that cannot be restored. The vote also reaffirmed the hiring of the Swanson Jones law firm to oversee the lawsuit.


LETTER: Adley Fires Back at Attorney General

In response to your letter of November 25, 2013, you accuse me of making the discussion over contingency fee contracts a public issue. You are wrong. I did not begin this public dialogue. I only responded to your public comments regarding contingency fee contracts. More importantly, you are trying to stretch the law for your own purposes. As you noted in your letter, I do understand the laws I vote on. Obviously I understand them much better than you do when reading them. I will do my best to explain the law but I cannot understand it for you.


Letter: Oil industry suits threaten economy
Alan Seabaugh

When you hear trial lawyers defending legacy lawsuits and politicians such as Foster Campbell attacking the oil and gas industry, remember that they are attacking you, your friends, your family, your local schools, your local business owners and the entire state. This is not an issue that is confined to a courtroom or the state capitol. It trickles down to every aspect of our communities and families.


Feds, state coastal authority at odds over paying for projects

The state’s coastal authority voted Tuesday to start legal action against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, asking the courts to decide how much, if anything, the state is obligated to pay toward two ecosystem and levee projects in south Louisiana. Both lawsuits approved by the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority ask the courts for a declaratory judgment to settle differences between the state and the corps on cost-sharing issues.


Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East to hold meeting tomorrow; reversal of oil company lawsuit anticipated

A local flood protection authority will meet to decide whether to continue pursuing an historic lawsuit against 97 oil companies alleging damage of the state’s wetlands.The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m. and will take place at the Franklin Administrative Complex at 6920 Franklin Ave. in New Orleans.


State levee boards association demands withdrawal of East Bank levee authority’s suit against energy companies

The Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana on Wednesday voted to oppose the wetlands damage lawsuit filed against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies in July by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, and requested the authority to drop the suit. The association, which includes representatives of 25 levee districts in the state, voted 16 to 1 in favor of the resolution asking the suit be dropped, with only the SLFPAE opposing. Several levee districts were not represented during the vote. In August, the association’s executive committee had recommended approval of the resolution.


Flood authority to be asked to halt suit against oil, gas companies

A month after being appointed to the East Bank levee authority as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s effort to quash a coastal erosion lawsuit against energy companies, new member Joe Hassinger will launch the first salvo in that battle Thursday. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East this week will take up three measures sponsored by Hassinger, including one that would put the lawsuit on hold. That effort sets up the first clash between Jindal’s new appointees and the authority members who voted to file the suit in the first place.


ADLEY: Attorney General Violated Law, Involved in “Cover-Up”

Government should be of laws, not men! Next to the famous deal between Huey Long and Texaco that cost Louisianans millions of dollars, the actions of the Attorney General and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA) might be the worst case of neglect and law breaking I have witnessed.


Ousted flood authority member launches nonprofit to support lawsuit

Advocates for the East Bank levee authority’s suit against oil and gas companies on Tuesday officially launched a nonprofit group aimed at blocking possible legislative interference with the suit and shoring up support for other similar efforts.


Conflicts galore

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) meets this Thursday morning to consider scuttling — or doubling down on — its environmental lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies. One of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new appointees, lawyer Joe Hassinger, has said he plans to introduce a motion to suspend the suit. It didn’t take him long to pass his “litmus test” for Jindal and “coastal czar” Garret Graves.


Levee authority will put off vote on whether to continue wetlands damage suit against energy companies

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East will delay a planned vote on whether to continue with a lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and energy companies until the state Ethics Commission reviews whether new authority member Lambert “Joe” Hassinger Jr. can vote on the measure.


West Bank levee board opposes east bank wetlands damage lawsuit, urges coordination

Denouncing its east bank counterpart for suing nearly 100 oil and gas companies over wetlands damage, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West wants the board to drop the litigation in favor of coordination with peers and coastal officials to address concerns. By a 6-1 vote, with commissioner Michael Merritt opposed, the West Bank levee authority gave its support Monday to a resolution crafted by Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana, which represents nearly two dozen levee districts.


Jindal levee authority appointee wants lawsuit against oil, pipeline companies suspended

A new member appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East will ask the authority to suspend its controversial lawsuit demanding that 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies either restore wetlands damaged during their operations or pay for the damages. A competing resolution, submitted by proponents of the lawsuit, asks the authority to reaffirm its original vote approving the contract to hire the Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison law firm and to authorize continued prosecution of the suit.


Will oil, gas lawsuit keep erosion conversation going?
Stephanie Grace

It’s tempting to say that the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East’s controversial lawsuit against Big Oil and Gas has opened the floodgates, but the imagery doesn’t really work. The idea behind the suit, and a pair of potential similar actions that would also seek to force the industry to fix damage to the state’s coastal wetlands, is pretty much the opposite. The goal is not to let water in, but to bolster natural defenses against its inevitable intrusion.


Jefferson, Plaquemines consider filing lawsuits
Jeff Adelson

Even as Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration launched an all-out assault this year against a state agency’s lawsuit accusing energy companies of destroying coastal wetlands, officials in the Republican strongholds of Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes were quietly preparing their own cases aimed at forcing the oil and gas industry to repair the damage it allegedly has done in those areas. In coming weeks, both parishes’ councils could file their own suits centered around allegations that the industries have taken an enormous toll that can be measured in terms of land that has simply washed away, multiple sources familiar with the cases told The New Orleans Advocate


Facing replacement on levee board, John Barry pledges more action on coastal loss

By now, no one would begrudge John Barry the right to lick his wounds and quietly limp out of town. After all, as leader of the lawsuit against oil and gas companies filed in August by the local Flood Protection Authority, the distinguished historian and author has taken a public beating from Louisiana officialdom. Gov. Bobby Jindal and his coastal chief, Garret Graves, didn’t just disagree with the merits of a suit seeking to force oil and gas interests to pay for damaging the coast — they questioned Barry’s integrity. They accused him of being a front man for money-hungry trial lawyers, a publicity hound less interested in flood protection than in generating headlines that sell books.


Jindal names 3 to board that sued oil companies

Gov. Bobby Jindal has named three new members to a New Orleans-area flood control board that filed a lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands. Jindal had made clear that anyone who supported the suit would not be re-appointed to the nine-member Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.


Big shot steps in on behalf of oil and gas
James Gill

Jay Lapeyre was too modest to mention it, but he is quite the big shot, chairman of the board at a publicly traded company in Houston. The company, ION Geophysical Group, describes itself as a “global oil and gas industry supplier.” If you find yourself in a roomful of ION’s customers, do not mention the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, or you will get an earful. Avoid, especially, the name of John Barry, prime mover behind the Authority’s lawsuit blaming 97 oil and gas companies for screwing up our wetlands.


Stephanie Grace: Ouster won’t quiet Barry

Now that Gov. Bobby Jindal is poised to replace him with one of two new nominees, John Barry’s days as vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East are numbered. In truth, they’ve been numbered since July, when, at Barry’s suggestion, the regional levee board sued nearly 100 oil and gas companies, asking them to either fix the damage they’d spent years inflicting on Louisiana’s coastal storm buffer, or to help pay for the stronger defenses needed to guard against higher storm surge.


Court needs to hear oil company lawsuit: Letter

Mr. Barry and the other current member of the Flood Protection Authority-East are battling to save the Louisiana wetlands that are a critical line of defense against storm-driven floodwaters. The facts regarding the contribution of the oil and gas industry to the demise of our wetlands deserve to be aired in a court of law. These members by their votes have chosen to short-circuit this process and in so doing, drive another stake in the heart of the wetland restoration effort


Stephanie Grace: Independence at stake in appointments
The Advocate

Back when President George W. Bush was still in a position to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices, “No More Souters” became something of a rallying cry in conservative circles. The Souter at issue, of course, was Justice David Souter, who, despite his appointment by the first President Bush, turned out to be a reliable vote for the court’s liberal wing. So instead of nominating justices without ideological track records, as his father had done, the son played it safe and chose nominees with overtly conservative sympathies.


Lead proponent of oil and gas lawsuit loses spot on levee board
The Advocate

The most prominent public face of a lawsuit against nearly 100 oil and gas companies will not get to serve another term on the East Bank flood protection authority that filed the suit. A nominating committee rejected author John Barry on Monday during a meeting that focused heavily on the suit and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s promise not to reappoint its supporters.


Levee authority, Corps of Engineers in standoff over ownership of hurricane protection system

At monthly meetings of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, the executive director conducts a surprising routine: He reports on the progress of construction of the $14.5 billion New Orleans levee system. It’s remarkable because most people think the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished building the system almost two years ago, an impression the news media and the corps has helped spread.


Clock running out on flood authority’s days as a panel immune from political meddling
Bob Marshall, The Lens

The political independence of a New Orleans area levee board under fire from politicians for its lawsuit against oil and gas companies could come to an abrupt end Tuesday. That’s when the state’s highest ranking politician and most outspoken critic of the lawsuit, Gov. Bobby Jindal, may be able to supplant a citizen nominating committee and make his own selections to fill three open seats on the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East


Can Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Make the Big Oil Lawsuit Go Away?

Last week, Garret Graves, speaking for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, told the nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East that the Governor would refuse to approve the reappointment of John Barry and Tim Doody should the committee recommend the two currently serving commissioners.


Buddy Caldwell says he did not authorize lawsuit

During the last several weeks, numerous news articles have been published concerning the filing by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, (SLFPA-E), about a suit against multiple oil companies, some stating that I authorized it. One individual even stated that the attorneys filing this suit were my “Buddies,” thus insinuating some sort of connection between me and those attorneys. Every one of these accusations is a lie, and the individuals making these statements know it. They are pursuing a political agenda of special interest groups, and they won’t let the truth stand in their way.


Jeff Landry: Caldwell involved in oil lawsuit

If you read the Louisiana Constitution, it is evident to most that our elected officials are entrusted with setting public policy. They are to work with the attorney general on enforcement. Unfortunately, Buddy Caldwell, the current attorney general, decided to turn public policy decisions over to a local levee board so a group of lawyers looking to cash in at the expense of middle-class jobs can have access to contracts. They are trying to do an end-around to sue the oil and gas industry.


Levee board’s lawsuit against oil companies to be topic of public forum
The Advocate

The East Bank levee board’s lawsuit accusing nearly 100 oil and gas companies of destroying coastal wetlands, and the political controversy surrounding it, will be discussed at a forum Wednesday night in New Orleans.

The event, hosted by the Independent Women’s Organization and the Eastern New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission, will focus on both the scientific and legal aspects of the case, according to a news release.


Levee board suit supporters are likely to lose seats
The Advocate

A nominating process that is likely to end with the ouster of two prominent supporters of a local levee board’s suit against almost 100 oil and gas companies will get underway Friday as a committee of engineers, academics and policy experts begins poring over a half-dozen applications from those seeking seats on the board.


Levee body says suit against energy firms aims to enforce restoration clauses in state, federal permits

The damages lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies seeks to enforce federal and state permits requiring the companies to repair damages from their operations, authority officials said Tuesday. “We are not trying to force these companies to abide by some new set of rules,” said Stephen Estopinal, treasurer of SLFPA-E. “We are only asking that they abide by the terms of the permits and the regulations they agreed to when they were given permission to exploit our natural resources.”


DuBos: Levee board heads deserve to be reappointed
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to quash the lawsuit filed against oil and gas companies by the local levee board. Part of his strategy is replacing board members whose terms have expired.
The lawsuit seeks to make the energy industry pay its share of the cost of repairing Louisiana’s vanishing coast. Oil and gas companies have been carving up our coast for about 80 years — and making billions in profits. They’ve also paid billions in taxes, and provided many thousands of jobs.


Flood authority pokes at Jindal, Oil, Gas and Pipeline industries on lawsuit
Bayoubuzz Staff

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authorithy-East (SLFPA-E) issued this statement today regarding its controversial lawsuit opposed by Governor Bobby Jindal. At the foundation of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) lawsuit against 97 oil companies are multiple bases, including scores of permits triggering obligations on the part of the companies to repair the damage caused by their operations.


John Barry, On Why The Levee Board Has Sued The Oil And Gas Companies
BOB MARSHALL

In July a landmark lawsuit was filed against the oil and gas industries for their role in the destruction of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands — a lawsuit that many people have been waiting decades to see. But this suit didn’t come from an environmental group or a private landholder. It came from the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, an agency charged with maintaining the huge hurricane protection system recently built around the metro New Orleans area.


John Barry, Tim Doody should remain on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East
Ruthie Frierson
September 08, 2013

In the terrible days after Katrina, the greatest challenge facing our citizens to rebuild our city was the need for enhanced flood protection – the levee system had failed. Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans was formed with a single focus to reform and consolidate levee boards in Southeast Louisiana. After gathering 53,000 signatures on a petition calling for levee board reform, after a special session of the Legislature and a constitutional amendment approved by 81 percent of voters, the goal of a unified non-political board of scientific experts with a single focus on flood protection was achieved.


Oil-gas industry, local levee board clash over AG’s authorization of board’s lawsuit
Bruce Eggler
The Times-Picayune

First the two sides argued about the extent of the oil and gas industry’s responsibility for loss of Louisiana’s wetlands and erosion of its coastline, and whether the industry should pay for repairing the damage.
Then they argued about the legality and wisdom of a local levee board’s lawsuit seeking to force scores of oil and gas companies to spend billions to help restore the wetlands and rebuild the coastline.


Leaders of levee board reform say Jindal threats violate spirit of 2006 changes
BY JEFF ADELSON
September 06, 2013

In the weeks since it filed suit against almost 100 oil and gas companies, a New Orleans-area levee board has been in the cross-hairs of Gov. Bobby Jindal and state lawmakers, united in an effort to get the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East to drop its case.


Oil and gas association want Caldwell to reverse lawsuit approval
BY JEFF ADELSON
September 04, 2013

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, which counts most of the defendants among its members, delivered a letter to Caldwell last week claiming he does not have the authority to authorize that agreement and only his office can represent the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East.


Why Jindal is so reluctant to make Big Oil pay for ravaging Louisiana’s coast
By Mark Moseley

Does the flag of Texaco still fly over the Louisiana State Capitol? That’s the question writer John Barry posed to Lens readers recently. Barry is the vice chairman of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which is suing oil, gas and pipeline companies for accelerating the erosion of our coast.


Lawyers v drillers
The Economist
August 31, 2013

OVER the past century Louisiana has lost nearly 2,000 square miles of coastal wetlands, an area the size of Delaware. This not only leaves the state denuded—with less than 75% of the wetlands it used to have—but also makes New Orleans, its biggest city, more vulnerable to hurricanes.


Bobby Jindal doesn’t think Big Oil should have to clean up its mess
Grist
John Upton

Oil and gas companies have ruined coastal wetlands that formerly helped protect Louisiana from storms and floods, but Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) doesn’t believe they should have to pay to repair the damage.


Opinion: We Sued the Oil Industry So New Orleans Can Survive
John M. Barry
National Geographic
August 28, 2013

After Hurricane Katrina, which struck eight years ago August 29, and the collapse of the levee system—a system entirely designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—Louisiana wanted a new kind of local levee board, one made up of flood experts instead of political appointees. So, with 81 percent of the vote, the state’s citizens passed a constitutional amendment that created the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPAE), a reform board that oversees the levee system of greater New Orleans on the east bank of the Mississippi River, and of which I am a member.


Letter: LEAN backs coastal lawsuit
Marylee Orr, executive director
Louisiana Environmental Action Network

I have been the executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) for over 25 years. LEAN began as a network of individuals and organizations from all across Louisiana who came together because they were dealing with some sort of environmental problem and no one else was supporting them or effectively addressing their concerns.


Levee Board Takes On Oil Industry Over Damage To Delta
August 30, 2013

Eight years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has a new flood protection system — $14 billion of levees, pumps and flood gates built by the Army Corps of Engineers. Residents, though, don’t think that will be enough. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, the local levee board, basically, says that as sea levels rise and wetlands down river get washed away, New Orleans will need more help.


Our Views: Barry gets powerful ear
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 25, 2013

John Barry has gotten a lot of attention today as vice president of
the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, where he’s
spearheaded the authority’s controversial lawsuit accusing nearly 100
energy companies of hurting coastal Louisiana’s ability to handle
storm-related flooding.


Environmental groups criticize Jindal oil donations
JEFF ADELSON
August 30, 2013

A coalition of environmental groups accused Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday of attempting to quash a coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies in order to benefit his political contributors.


Support Small Businesses, Stop Lawsuit Abuse
By Melissa Landry
Louisiana Record
August 23, 2013 9:29 PM

Small business owners and entrepreneurs face many challenges. From changing health care laws to new taxes and regulations, it is tough owning a small business in America these days. Frivolous lawsuits and a poor legal climate make it even tougher to own one in Louisiana.


Keep your eye on the ball
Keith Magill
Houma Courier
August 25, 2013

Debate over a lawsuit that demands oil companies pay for damage they caused drilling for oil in south Louisiana’s fragile wetlands came to Terrebonne Parish last week. Members of the New Orleans-area levee board that filed the lawsuit spoke to the state board that oversees Louisiana’s coastal restoration efforts.


Suing oil and gas interests to save the coast: author John Barry weighs in
By John Barry, Contributor
The Lens
August 22, 2013

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has filed a controversial lawsuit seeking to extract a settlement from oil, gas and pipeline interests in compensation for the industry’s long-term damage to Louisiana’s fragile and rapidly collapsing coast. The administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal claims that the Flood Protection Authority lacked the authority to file the suit and wants it withdrawn on grounds that it is hostile to oil and gas interests and possibly inimical to other state efforts to secure funding for coastal restoration.


Fireworks continue over lawsuit against oil and gas industry
By Amy Wold
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 21, 2013

DULAC — The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority voted
Wednesday to oppose a lawsuit that the Southeast Flood Protection
Authority — East filed last month against about 100 oil and gas
companies for wetland destruction.


Lawsuit Accusations Are Just That
Don Briggs
President, Louisiana Oil and Gas Association

The battle between public opinion and truth is under way.
Dozens of editorials, newspaper articles and reports have now been written regarding the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East’s (SLFPAE) accusation that the oil and gas industry has caused massive erosion and land loss for the coast of Louisiana.


State coastal authority votes to request East Bank levee authority to block oil, gas, pipeline lawsuit
By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times-Picayune
August 21, 2013

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Wednesday
voted to request the East Bank levee authority to drop its lawsuit
against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies that was aimed at getting
the energy firms to repair damage done to wetlands and land in its
area, or to pay for unrepairable damages, with the money to be used to
improve levees.


Levee board appointments may let Jindal interfere with suit
BY JEFF ADELSON
August 21, 2013

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration will have its first opportunity to directly interfere with a massive lawsuit claiming oil and gas companies contributed to the destruction of Louisiana’s coast next month, when a nominating committee considers whether to reappoint key members of the flood control board that filed the suit.


State moves to fill 3 East Bank levee authority seats, including posts held by president, vice president
Times Picayune

The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Monday officially began the process of filling three seats on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, including those now held by the authority’s president and vice president. The two officials voted to file a controversial lawsuit against oil, gas and pipeline companies for wetlands damages earlier this month that is opposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.


Oil and gas are vital to Louisiana (Letter to the Editor)
Houma Courier
Last Modified: Monday, August 19, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.

The Louisiana House-Senate Transportation Committee met last week to discuss the New Orleans levee district’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies for damage to the state’s coastal wetlands.

State legislators, business and industry leaders and Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority head Garrett Graves echoed the same message: The solution to Louisiana’s coastal problems does not lie in big verdicts and huge plaintiff payouts.


Barry says lawsuit opposition based oil & gas politics
Michelle Millhollon – Baton Rouge Advocate
Aug. 19, 2013

An East Bank flood protection authority official summed up opposition to a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry with one word Monday: Politics.
“People used to say the flag of Texaco flies over the State Capitol. People have to ask themselves if that’s still true,” John Barry told the Press Club of Baton Rouge during a lunchtime gathering.


Editorial: Lawsuit targets only one of many
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Aug. 17, 2013

Many questions are being raised about the recent lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and gas producers and pipeline companies. The suit alleges that the industry is responsible for causing much of the damage to Louisiana’s disappearing coastal marshes that once afforded protection to New Orleans — as well as the rest of the coast — from hurricanes.


Flood board continues lawsuit
Written by Kevin McGill
Associated Press
August 15, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans-area flood control board refused to back down Thursday from its lawsuit seeking damages from nearly 100 oil and gas companies over coastal erosion allegedly caused by dredging and digging for canals and pipelines. But the board offered an olive branch to the suit’s opponents, including Gov. Bobby Jindal and his coastal protection chief.


http://theadvocate.com/news/6794205-123/levee-board-opens-door-to

Levee board opens door to settling lawsuit
BY JEFF ADELSON
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 15, 2013

The East Bank flood protection authority opened the door to negotiations Thursday in its coastal erosion suit against about 100 oil and gas companies after meeting with the state’s top coastal official.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/08/new_orleans_levee_authority_wi.html#incart_river

New Orleans levee authority will consider 45-day pause to coastal erosion lawsuit
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on August 15, 2013 at 6:13 PM, updated August 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

The New Orleans levee authority on Thursday passed a resolution to consider placing a 45-day pause on its lawsuit against about 100 oil, gas and pipeline companies. The authority said the pause could allow the group to work further with the governor’s office and set up “a task force to examine and review all ramifications of the lawsuit.“


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/15/stop-louisianas-lawsuit-abuse/

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Stop Louisiana’s lawsuit abuse
By The Washington Times
Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Washington Times‘ recent editorial about the “feeding frenzy” of lawyers recruiting businesses to make lucrative claims in the aftermath of the BP settlement describes a long-standing problem in Louisiana (“Shark attack in the Gulf,” Aug. 13). This model of using (or abusing) the law to extract money from companies is frequently employed by some plaintiff lawyers in the Pelican State.


http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/08/15/state-coastal-chief-assails-suit-against-oil-gas/

State coastal chief assails suit against oil, gas
The Associated Press
Posted on August 15, 2013 at 6:47 am

NEW ORLEANS — A south Louisiana flood prevention board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies is an assault on a vital job-producing industry and throws a monkey wrench into a coordinated state effort to save and restore Louisiana’s eroding coast, the state’s top coastal official told a legislative panel Wednesday.


http://theadvocate.com/news/6780556-123/legislators-question-levee-lawsuit

Legislators question levee lawsuit
Lawmakers hear both sides in suit against oil industry
BY MICHELLE MILLHOLLON
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 15, 2013

Legislators delving into a controversial lawsuit against the oil and gas industry got into a war of words Wednesday between the Jindal administration and New Orleans-area levee board officials.


http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20130814/NEWS01/130814036/La-panel-questions-reasoning-coastal-lawsuit

La. panel questions reasoning of coastal lawsuit
Written by Mike Hasten
Gannett Company
August 14, 2013

BATON ROUGE – Testimony in a joint House-Senate Transportation Committee on a New Orleans levee district’s lawsuit accusing oil companies of causing much of the erosion of Louisiana’s coastline ranged from it being a way to protect millions of people to it threatening the state’s future economic development.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/08/lawmakers_flood_authority_spar.html#incart_river

Lawmakers, flood authority spar over wetlands lawsuit
By Lauren McGaughy
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on August 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM, updated August 14, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Members of a New Orleans levee authority got an earful from state lawmakers in Baton Rougeon Wednesday, during a three-hour meeting to discuss the massive lawsuit the group filed against the oil and gas industry. Legislators said the authority should have coordinated with other state agencies and criticized the decision to employ trial lawyers for the case.


http://www.louisianaweekly.com/louisiana-coastal-damages-lawsuit-provokes-wrath-of-big-oils-political-friends/

Louisiana coastal damages lawsuit provokes wrath of Big Oil’s political friends
By Sue Sturgis, Contributing Writer
The Louisiana Weekly – New Orleans, La.
12th August 2013

(Special from Facing South) – After the Hurricane Katrina disaster drew scrutiny to Louisiana’s flood-control efforts, voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2006 to allow the creation of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority to ensure the region’s levees would be overseen by engineering experts and not politicians’ friends.


http://louisianarecord.com/news/254135-joint-legislative-committee-convenes-over-coastal-erosion-lawsuit-against-oil-companies

Joint legislative committee convenes over coastal erosion lawsuit against oil companies
By KYLE BARNETT
Louisiana Record
August 14, 2013 5:03 PM

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana House and Senate Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committees are meeting jointly today to review a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East (SLFPA-E) against 97 energy exploration and oil companies.


http://www.shreveporttimes.com/viewart/20130813/NEWS01/130813022/Levee-board-s-suit-moved-federal-court-

Levee board’s suit moved to federal court
The Associated Press
August 13, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans-area levee authority’s lawsuit against dozens of oil and gas companies was transferred Tuesday from state to federal court at the request of one of the companies, but the move may be temporary.

In a court filing, attorneys for Chevron U.S.A. Inc. argue that the suit belongs in federal court because they say federal laws govern many of its claims.


http://thelensnola.org/2013/08/13/green-groups-keeping-mum-on-flood-authority-lawsuit-opposed-by-jindal/

Major green groups keeping mum on flood authority lawsuit opposed by Jindal
By Bob Marshall
New Orleans Lens
August 13, 2013

With three of the nation’s largest environmental groups working out of local offices to help save Louisiana’s drowning coast, it seemed only a matter of time before they voiced support for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East’s lawsuitagainst oil and gas companies for damages to the region’s wetlands. After all, green groups have been criticizing the state’s cozy relationship with oil and gas for decades. Finally, here was an official state body making an historic break with that tradition.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/08/chevron_usa_requests_flood_aut.html#cmpid=nwsltrhead

Chevron U.S.A. requests flood authority lawsuit against oil, gas,
pipeline companies be moved to federal court

By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Follow on Twitter
on August 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM, updated August 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Chevron U.S.A. filed a motion Tuesday to transfer to federal court in
New Orleans a lawsuit filed in New Orleans Civil District Court two
weeks ago against it and 96 other oil, gas and pipeline companies by
the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.


http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/6739841-148/levee-board-association-comes-out

Levee board association comes out against oil and gas lawsuit
BY JEFF ADELSON
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 11, 2013

Presidents of 22 levee boards in Louisiana came out unanimously Friday against a massive lawsuit against nearly 100 oil and gas companies filed by the New Orleans-area flood protection authority.


http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/6723036-123/letter-industry-supports-coastal-efforts

Letter: Industry supports coastal efforts
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 11, 2013

Investments. Expansions. Jobs. These are the headlines of Louisiana today, in large part due to investments made by Louisiana’s oil and gas industry. Investment by industry accounted for more than 310,000 jobs and $16 billion in household earnings for Louisianians in 2009 and an impact of nearly $78 billion in 2011. The results are being touted across the country.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/08/what_the_levee_authority_reall.html#incart_river

What the levee authority really wants for Louisiana’s coast: John M. Barry
By Contributing Op-Ed columnist
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on August 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM, updated August 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East — the levee board responsible for protecting metropolitan New Orleans east of the Mississippi River — filed suit July 24 against Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and 94 other oil, gas and pipeline companies for destroying the land and marsh buffer that once provided natural protection to New Orleans from hurricanes.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/08/what_the_levee_authority_reall.html#incart_river

What the levee authority really wants for Louisiana’s coast: John M. Barry
By Contributing Op-Ed columnist
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on August 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM, updated August 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East — the levee board responsible for protecting metropolitan New Orleans east of the Mississippi River — filed suit July 24 against Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and 94 other oil, gas and pipeline companies for destroying the land and marsh buffer that once provided natural protection to New Orleans from hurricanes.


http://theadvocate.com/columnists/6722590-123/james-gill-coastal-suit-muddies

Coastal suit muddies waters
By James Gill
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 08, 2013

The levee board that has filed suit against oil companies for
destroying Louisiana’s wetlands has been accused of a blinkered view.

The board, according to Representative Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, is
forgetting that energy companies are “the backbone of our local
economy.”


http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/6711678-123/letter-lawsuit-will-hurt-la

Letter: Lawsuit will hurt La. coast
The Advocate • Baton Rouge, La • August 6, 2013

The Louisiana Landowners Association represents hundreds of individuals and companies who collectively own and manage over 2 million acres of land across much of southern Louisiana and its coastal marshes. Numerous restoration projects implemented by our members can be found throughout these wetlands. Many of these independent projects have been conducted in concert with oil and gas exploration activities. Others are cost-shared through federal and state partnerships. Our membership is a key stakeholder in all coastal preservation/restoration matters and has the most to lose — our land.


http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20130805/ARTICLES/130809834/1211/news01?Title=Petition-asks-state-to-support-levee-lawsuit

Petition asks state to support levee lawsuit
By Nikki Buskey
Houma Courier
Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.

Nine environmental groups are circulating a petition asking Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to support a lawsuit filed against nearly 100 oil companies, blaming them for wetlands loss that has made coastal communities increasingly vulnerable to flooding.

The historic lawsuit was filed last week by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which covers most of the New Orleans area, governing the Orleans Levee District, the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District and the East Jefferson Levee District.


http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/6702800-123/letter-why-shouldnt-oil-and

Letter: Why shouldn’t oil and gas companies pay?
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 05, 2013

While I have known and become friends with Gov. Bobby Jindal and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves over nearly 20 years, I have to disagree with the position they have taken opposing the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s recent lawsuit. That lawsuit claims that 97 oil and gas companies who built pipeline canals for nearly a century should pay to repair the marred coastal wetlands they damaged by building those canals. Their lawsuit also claims those damages caused by the oil and gas companies have accelerated and increased maintenance costs on the levee system that protects our coastal communities from flooding because of the loss of the buffering effect that those once massive wetlands provided.


http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308030003

La. coastal damage lawsuit long overdue (Letter to the Editor)
by Foster Campbell
Aug. 1, 2013

The coastal damage lawsuit against major oil companies by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East is long overdue.

For years we have seen how offshore oil exploration and production have damaged our wetlands. Yet no statewide politician except Gov. Dave Treen has tried to hold the industry accountable.


http://louisianarecord.com/news/253815-levee-board-lawsuit-the-latest-chapter-in-trial-lawyer-greed

Levee Board Lawsuit – the Latest Chapter in Trial Lawyer Greed (Op-Ed)
By MELISSA LANDRY
Louisiana Record
July 31, 2013 8:16 PM

The latest chapter on trial lawyer greed exploded ontoheadlines in newspapers across the country this summer, when a New Orleans based levee board filed suit against scores of energy companies that operate along Louisiana’s coast.

Under the direction of John Barry, a well-known author who serves as Vice President of the authority, officially known as the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority—East or SLFPAE, the lawsuit reads like an elaborate science fiction novel. In an apparent attempt to create an easy villain, the suit alleges oil and gas operators are responsible for creating a “mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction.”


http://theadvocate.com/columnists/6651108-55/stephanie-grace-levee-lawsuit-already

Levee lawsuit already mired in politics
BY STEPHANIE GRACE
Baton Rouge Advocate
August 04, 2013

If you’re trying to stay above politics, it’s probably not a great idea to jump into the middle of the great industry-versus-trial-lawyer debate.

That’s where Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East finds itself these days, thanks to its epic lawsuit demanding that roughly 100 oil and gas companies fix the damage they’ve spent years doing to coastal marshlands, or pay for better levee protection to make up for the lost buffer.


http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20130805/OPINION/308050006/Kevin-McGill-flood-board-going-rogue-

Is this flood board going rogue
by Kevin McGill
Baton Rouge Advocate
Aug. 4, 2013 8:16 PM

In a month full of reminders of the perils and costs of offshore
drilling — among them one leaky well, one full-scale blowout and
spectacular fire and one corporation’s acknowledgment that some
evidence pertaining to the 2010 Gulf oil spill was destroyed — July’s
biggest splash was made in Civil District Court in New Orleans, where
a local flood control authority, some would argue, went rogue.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/lawsuits_enrich_lawyers_but_ca.html#incart_river

Lawsuits enrich lawyers, but can one save Louisiana’s coast?

By James Varney, NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune
Follow on Twitter
on July 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

There is a scene in the movie ‘Liar Liar’ in which the great Jim
Carrey, stretching to play a smarmy California lawyer, convinces
Jennifer Tilley she should divorce her husband and mulct him for
substantial money. All she and the law firm would be seeking, he
insists, is a sum she has earned.


http://theadvocate.com/news/6650575-123/environmental-groups-support-levee-boards

Environmental groups support levee board’s oil and gas lawsuit

New Orleans bureau
July 31, 2013

Representatives from several local environmental groups on Tuesday
spoke out in support of a lawsuit filed last week by levee board
commissioners alleging about 100 oil and gas companies owe billions to
restore coastal wetlands.

The suit, filed last week by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection
Authority – East, contends that the oil and gas industry has caused
massive damage to coastal wetlands from dredging canals and
constructing pipelines and wells, despite permits requiring the
companies maintain and restore the properties where they were
operating.


http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013307310019&nclick_check=1

Lawsuit could hurt oil, gas industry
Don Briggs
Guest Columnist

Last week, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed suit against 97 oil and gas companies seeking payment from them alleging that they are putting the New Orleans area at a greater risk of flooding by contributing to coastal erosion. This suit, like the 300 legacy lawsuits with over 1,500 companies that have been going on for 10 years now against oil and gas, are simply extortion via the legal system.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/oil_and_gas_industry_must_pay.html#incart_river

Oil and gas industry must pay for the damage it’s caused: Lt. General Russel L. Honore
By Contributing writer
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on July 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM, updated July 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

It’s high hurricane season, the time of year when the threat of sudden
disaster hangs like a dark and foreboding cloud over the people of
southern Louisiana. For me, it’s personal. Eight years ago, I flew
into New Orleans aboard a Navy aircraft on a blistering August
morning, after Hurricane Katrina left 80 percent of the city under as
much as 20 feet of water.


http://thehayride.com/2013/07/sadow-on-the-southeast-flood-protection-authority-lawsuit/

SADOW: On The Southeast Flood Protection Authority Lawsuit
Posted by: Jeff Sadow
The Hayride
on Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:03

The irony, of course, is that a body created presumably for nonpolitical functions acted in a very political way, all the while deluding itself into thinking it is serving a democratic system that its very actions subvert.

Last week, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed suit against dozens of extraction companies to scoop money from them to fund its activities – never mind, naturally, that the majority owners of them directly or indirectly are millions of small investors and they and consumers would pay for any such transferring. The suit claims that exploration for decades has caused a greater magnitude of flooding, impaired levees, and culminated in breach of contract for insufficient restoration actions. Damages awarded could run into the billions of dollars if it succeeds.


http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2013/07/26/wetlands-war

Wetlands war

POSTED BY CLANCY DUBOS
BLOG OF NEW ORLEANS
FRI, JUL 26, 2013 AT 12:03 PM

It didn’t take long for the oil and gas industry to play a political trump card in the nascent but epic legal battle over who should pay to rebuild Louisiana’s vanishing coastal wetlands. Gov. Bobby Jindal rushed to the industry’s defense the same day that a local flood protection authority sued 97 oil and gas companies over coastal land loss. Jindal said the flood board had been “hijacked by a group of trial lawyers.”

The governor also claimed the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E), which filed the suit on July 24, “overstepped its authority” by tackling coastal land-loss issues, which historically are overseen by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Jindal called the suit “nothing but a windfall for a handful of trial lawyers.”


http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2013/07/26/graves-a-twitter-over-levee-board-suit

Graves a-Twitter over levee board suit

POSTED BY CLANCY DUBOS
BLOG OF NEW ORLEANS
FRI, JUL 26, 2013 AT 12:20 PM

Garret Graves, who chairs the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and advises Gov. Bobby Jindal on coastal issues, took to Twitter in recent days to continue his boss’s campaign to scuttle the lawsuit filed against oil and gas companies by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E). The flood authority sued 97 energy companies, seeking damages and reparations for decades of coastal land loss. Jindal and Graves were the first to take up Big Oil’s case.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/state_coastal_authority_demand.html

State coastal authority requests meeting with East Bank levee authority over oil, gas, pipeline suit
By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times Picayune
on July 26, 2013 at 6:45 PM, updated July 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM

The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has requested to meet with East Bank levee authority President Tim Doody to discuss why the state thinks the authority filed an improper lawsuit against oil and gas companies this week. The suit demanded that 97 firms repair damage to coastal wetlands and pay for damages that can’t be repaired.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/meet_with_us_about_oil_gas_pip.html

Meet with us about oil, gas, pipeline lawsuit on Aug. 15, East Bank levee authority leader tells state
By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on July 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM, updated July 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

The vice president of the East Bank levee authority, who came up with the idea to file suit against oil, gas and pipeline companies to require them to repair wetland damage that increases the risk of hurricane storm surges overtopping area levees and compensate the authority for damage that can’t be repaired, offered to discuss the suit with the head of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority during the levee authority’s Aug. 15 meeting.


http://theadvocate.com/news/6617599-123/levee-boards-suit-could-be

Levee board’s suit could be landmark case
BY JEFF ADELSON
Baton Rouge Advocate
July 28, 2013

In the days since levee board commissioners filed a bombshell suit alleging about 100 oil and gas companies owe billions to restore coastal wetlands, supporters have already begun talking about the case as a potential legal milestone, elevating it into a pantheon of historic lawsuits that have shifted policy and debate permanently.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/louisiana_politics_challenges.html

Louisiana politics challenges historic lawsuit against oil companies: John Maginnis (Opinion)
By John Maginnis
on July 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated July 29, 2013 at 6:04 AM

Louisiana politicians, beware, this is what happens when you establish in the Constitution an independent and apolitical board of experts empowered to take legal action to protect the lives and property within its jurisdiction, namely, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

The little levee board that could rattled the crystal in boardrooms around the globe last week by filing a mammoth, historic lawsuit against 97 oil companies. It demands they repair the damage done from decades of digging, dredging and drilling in the coastal marshes that form the New Orleans region’s first line of defense against hurricanes.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/with_levee_authority_lawsuit_s.html

With levee authority lawsuit, state can’t keep ignoring petroleum-related damage to marshes: Len Bahr (Opinion)
By Contributing Op-Ed columnist
on July 29, 2013 at 6:14 AM, updated July 29, 2013 at 6:17 AM

In July 1973 I was hired fresh out of grad school to join an LSU research team studying oil production impacts on the Louisiana coast. We attempted to quantify the ecological damage caused by a new oil pipeline that came ashore onto the deteriorating delta coast near Fourchon. The research effort was a bust in that so many pipelines already crossed the coast in that vicinity as to mask the impacts of any single project.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/science_to_be_key_factor_in_la.html#incart_river

Science to be key factor in lawsuit against oil and gas companies for coastal loss, The Lens reports (Blog)
By Bob Marshall
New Orleans Lens
on July 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM, updated July 24, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Over the last seven months, three New Orleans-area law firms spent thousands of hours researching how to do something that many have talked about, but never tried — hold oil and gas companies accountable for increasing the flood risk to the metro area by destroying coastal wetlands.

In the end, the lawyers settled on a centuries-old legal concept. But they know the success of that choice will depend on the science supporting it.

“If they believe the expert scientific testimony given by our witnesses, then we win the lawsuit,” said Gladstone “Glad” Jones of Jones, Swanson, Huddell and Garrison, which has a successful track record of suing oil companies.


http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/07/levee_authority_lawsuit_state.html#incart_river

Levee authority lawsuit: state lawmakers react
By Lauren McGaughy
New Orleans Times Picayune
on July 25, 2013 at 8:01 PM, updated July 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

On Wednesday morning, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection
Authority-East filed an historic lawsuit demanding oil, gas and
pipeline companies restore damaged wetlands and pay for weakened
natural levee systems created by those wetlands.

Jindal issued a response just hours later, stating the levee board had
no authority to file the suit without his approval and calling it a
“hijacking” of the issue by trial lawyers “who see dollar signs in
their future and who are taking


http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/07/new_orleans_levee_board_suit_l.html#incart_river

New Orleans, coastal lawmakers outspoken on levee board suit
By Lauren McGaughy
New Orleans Times Picayune
on July 25, 2013 at 7:24 PM, updated July 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

While Louisiana’s congressional delegation sought to remain largely
neutral on the suit filed Wednesday by the East Bank levee authority
against a slew of oil, gas and pipeline companies, state lawmakers
were more eager to take sides on the issue. From cautiously supportive
to deeply critical, current and former lawmakers agreed the legal
challenge would bring with it reactive legislation and tough choices
for Gov. Bobby Jindal.


http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20130724/ARTICLES/130729773/1211/news01?Title=Locals-interested-in-suit-against-oil-companies

Locals interested in suit against oil companies
By Nikki Buskey
Houma Courier
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

Local levee leaders are watching a historic lawsuit filed by a New
Orleans-area levee district that blames oil and gas companies for
wetlands loss that has made coastal communities increasingly
vulnerable to flooding.

In the suit, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East
claims salt water from a network of oil and gas access and pipeline
canals killed wetlands and eroded coastal lands, according to The
Associated Press.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/jackpot_justice_is_bad_for_lou.html#incart_river

“Jackpot justice” is bad for Louisiana businesses: Jay Timmons and Dan Juneau (Op-Ed)
By Jay Timmons and Dan Juneau, Contributing Op-Ed columnists
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on July 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM, updated July 26, 2013 at 6:24 AM

The United States leads the world in a number of categories. While
most of our achievements are worth celebrating, others are not. We
have the highest corporate tax rate among industrialized nations, with
a top rate of 35 percent. And we’ve earned another dubious
distinction: Our legal system is the world’s costliest.


http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/lawsuit_against_oil_and_gas_gi.html#incart_river

Lawsuit against oil and gas giants is a call to arms for Louisiana: Jarvis DeBerry (Opinion)
By Jarvis DeBerry
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on July 25, 2013 at 4:30 PM, updated July 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

It’s been a real long time since “Louisiana 1927.” Even so, the song’s
refrain — “They’re trying to wash us away. They’re trying to wash us
away.” — seems as relevant now as the time 86 years ago when New
Orleans’ unelected elite let loose the Mississippi River on St.
Bernard Parish.


http://theadvocate.com/columnists/6588053-55/stephanie-grace

Stephanie Grace: History shows industry got a free ride (Column)
BY STEPHANIE GRACE
Baton Rouge Advocate
July 25, 2013

It wasn’t a huge story at the time, but about seven years ago, something unusual happened, at least for Louisiana.

Asked to OK locally based McMoRan Exploration Co.’s plan to build a $1 billion open-loop liquified natural gas port off the coast, a project that environmentalists feared might harm the state’s fisheries, then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco said no.

Even as a self-proclaimed “oil and gas governor,” Blanco said, she had an obligation to protect the ecosystem. Within a day, McMoran shifted gears and offered to instead build a closed-loop system using a more expensive but more fish-friendly technology.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/24/usa-gulfofmexico-lawsuit-idUSL1N0FU2F520130724

UPDATE 1-Louisiana agency sues big oil firms for hurting wetlands
Reuters
Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:36pm EDT

(Reuters) – A Louisiana agency sued 97 oil companies – including BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp , Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc – in state court on Wednesday for allegedly damaging hundreds of miles of sensitive wetlands by cutting through them with pipelines and transportation canals.

Governor Bobby Jindal quickly accused the agency of overreach and said the filing should be withdrawn.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/jindal_demands_east_bank_levee.html#incart_river

Jindal demands East Bank levee authority drop lawsuit against oil, gas, pipelines
By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times-Picayune
on July 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM, updated July 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Saying it had overstepped its authority, Gov. Bobby Jindal is
demanding that the East Bank levee authority drop a lawsuit filed
Wednesday that would require oil, gas and pipeline companies restore
damaged wetlands and pay damages for the effects of the lost wetlands
on levees.

Jindal also demanded that the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection
Authority-East fire the attorneys who filed the suit, saying they were
hired in violation of state law that requires their hiring be approved
by the governor.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/louisiana-agency-to-sue-energy-companies-for-wetland-damage.html?_r=0

Louisiana Agency Sues Dozens of Energy Companies for Damage to Wetlands
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
New York Times
Published: July 24, 2013

Louisiana officials filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against dozens of energy companies, hoping that the courts will force them to pay for decades of damage to fragile coastal wetlands that help buffer the effects of hurricanes on the region.

“This protective buffer took 6,000 years to form,” the state board that oversees flood-protection efforts for much of the New Orleans area argued in court filings, adding that “it has been brought to the brink of destruction over the course of a single human lifetime.”


http://louisianarecord.com/news/253590-flood-protection-agency-files-massive-lawsuit-against-oil-companies-over-land-loss

Flood protection agency files massive lawsuit against oil companies over land loss
By KYLE BARNETT
Louisiana Record
July 24, 2013 9:43 PM

NEW ORLEANS – In what is being called a landmark lawsuit, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East filed suit today against more than 100 oil and gas companies claiming they have put the New Orleans area at risk through contributing to coastal erosion.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPA-E) that governs levee districts in Orleans Parish, East Jefferson Parish and the Lake Borgne Basin filed the suit in the Orleans Parish Central District Court.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/louisiana-agency-to-sue-energy-companies-for-wetland-damage.html?hp&_r=0

Louisiana Agency to Sue Energy Companies for Wetland Damage

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: July 24, 2013

Louisiana officials will file a lawsuit on Wednesday against dozens of energy companies, hoping that the courts will force them to pay for decades of damage to fragile coastal wetlands that help buffer the effects of hurricanes on the region.
“This protective buffer took 6,000 years to form,” the state board that oversees flood-protection efforts for much of the New Orleans area argued in court filings, adding that “it has been brought to the brink of destruction over the course of a single human lifetime.”
The lawsuit, to be filed in civil district court in New Orleans by the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, argues that the energy companies, including BP and Exxon Mobil, should be held responsible for fixing damage caused by cutting a network of thousands of miles of oil and gas access and pipeline canals through the wetlands. The suit alleges that the network functioned “as a mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction,” killing vegetation, eroding soil and allowing salt water to intrude into freshwater areas.


http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/east_bank_levee_authority_to_a.html#incart_river

East Bank levee authority to file lawsuit Wednesday aimed at getting oil, gas, pipeline firms to restore wetlands and ridges
By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com
New Orleans Times-Picayune
July 23, 2013

The regional levee authority overseeing East Bank flood protection will file a lawsuit Wednesday against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies aimed at forcing them to repair damage to a buffer zone of wetlands and ridges “that helps protect the greater New Orleans region from catastrophic flooding,” according to a press release from the agency.

Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East officials would not publicly comment Tuesday on what could be a historic lawsuit that, if successful, would require the energy companies to fill in canals and restore wetlands and other land features that scientists say help reduce the size of storm surges caused by hurricanes.


http://theadvocate.com/news/6590534-123/suit-seeks-damages-from-oil

Suit seeks damages from oil companies for coastal erosion
By jeff adelson
Baton Rouge Advocate
July 24, 2013

An audacious lawsuit charges that 100 energy companies should pay for
putting the New Orleans area at greater risk of flooding by
contributing to coastal erosion.

The suit is expected to be filed Wednesday morning by the Southeast
Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which oversees the east
bank’s flood protection system.

The potentially historic suit takes aim at the massive network of
canals, pipelines and extraction systems that snake through the
wetlands southeast of New Orleans. The oil industry’s activity has
greatly increased the intensity of storm surges in the region by
eroding the coastline that once formed a natural buffer against storm
surge, requiring ever-more expensive and complex flood protection
systems to keep the area safe during hurricanes, flood protection
authority Commissioner John Barry said.