For generations, oil and gas companies have not just engaged in outrageous conduct that has wrecked havoc on the gulf coast, but state and local governments have encouraged them to do so. Affected as much or more than any other area has been the Louisiana coast, where where one-quarter of the coast has been lost since the 1930s. The system of canals that the energy giants have built with the enthusiastic approval of the state has decimated fragile wetlands, as has the use of heavy equipment and the installation of miles and miles of pipelines. Dredging has allowed the introduction of massive amounts of saltwater to flow into fresh water habitats, killing off vegetation that previously prevented erosion. The loss of marshes and barrier islands has meant the end to natural protections for coastal communities, including New Orleans. Future storms are more than likely to be far more devastating than was Hurricane Katrina.
|A 35-plus year project to partially repair the damage in Louisiana alone has been estimated to carry a price tag of $50 billion, and local and state agencies, including the Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East have commenced litigation against the 97 oil and gas companies operating in the state who are responsible for the environmental destruction.
But Louisiana’s legislature and governor Bobby Jindal have brought all such litigation to a halt.
The far-reaching legislation that Jindal said he was “Proud to sign into law” not only will bring an end to such public lawsuits, but according the the state’s Attorney General and the vast majority of legal experts, it will also likely end all public and private litigation, now pending and in the future, against the oil and gas giants who do damage in the the state, including giving BP total immunity from any and all further responsibility for their
|liability in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Louisiana's Attorney General, Buddy Caldwell, himself a republican, urged Jindal to veto the bill.|
As an aside, it was reported this past week the the totally flawed drilling and blowout prevention systems that were in use by BP in 2010 and that were a direct cause of the explosion and spill in the Gulf Coast are STILL in wide use today. Figure that out.
For years now we have seen republican governors ride
slipshod over the environment, the rights of workers, the disabled, the elderly, the disadvantaged, women, and other groups, giving every conceivable benefit, monetary and otherwise, to big business and pro-gun interests. In Georgia, we saw Gov. Nathan Deal say that hospitals should have the right to turn away critically ill people in order to save money as he gleefully signed into law the “Guns Everywhere” bill. In Virginia we saw the exploits of “Governor Vaginal Probe”, Bob McDonnell, who prior to leaving office and being indicted for a slew of fraudulent activities, was a national leader in euthanizing woman’s health rights. In Kansas, we are still seeing the effects of the “red state experiment” of Gov.
|Sam Brownback whose massive tax cuts to business has destroyed the state's financial well being, decimating their credit and bond ratings, and pubic education, drawing the wrath of the state's highest court. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker will live in infamy for his orchestrated destruction of the rights of public employees resulting in massive protests and
world-wide attention. As symbolic as anything, though far less destructive, included in the anti-labor program of Maine’s Paul LePage was the removal of a mural depicting the history of labor from the state Labor Department’s building.
But, step up to the head of the class, Bobby Jindal. Your act in signing into law massive immunity for oil and gas companies to destroy the environment of your state at will lays the foundation for the total destruction of Louisiana’s gulf coast and the end, once and forever, of the City of New Orleans.
I hope you are proud of yourself.