After reading Foster Campbell’s letter entitled “Coastal lawsuits stand up to Big Oil”, I am reminded of the phrase, “What fools these mortals be.”
There is no doubt that shipping commerce is the prime culprit involving coastal erosion. The MRGO and the leveeing of the Mississippi River are to blame. We’ve fixed one, but not the other. Lake Ponchartrain, Lake Borgne and the Mississippi Sound suffer tremendously when the spillways are opened, as toxins of all types ruin our lakes and bays. Why isn’t the EPA extremely upset? Why aren’t there a considerable number of spillways well north of us to relieve the high river waters which flush all sediment out to sea? The energy of the Mississippi River easily exceeds all the bayous and canals combined.
Dead-end canals in the marsh, created in an effort to recover minerals including as oil and gas, silt up so fast that, within a few years, you can’t even fish in them. Oil companies have an excellent record of following the state’s conservation regulations, much better than some other industries. Additionally, for many years, mitigation, paid for by the oil companies was paid the state when dredging was allowed. This money was supposed to pay for wetland restoration. Yet, legacy lawsuits, requiring companies to pay exorbitant amounts after the companies’ have satisfactorily accomplished that which was required by all state regulations, have unfairly ruled the day. That is the reason so many companies are leaving Louisiana. Besides losing thousands of jobs, the state is also losing the taxes paid by companies and company employees.
Grandstanding by politicos will never fix our state. We need scientific solutions to fix our problems.
Kudos to Freeport McMoRan, which again has proven itself to be a community activist. It is helping to restore wetlands, but my understanding is that there was no acknowledgement of its role in harming them. Freeport McMoRan just appreciated it can spend the money helping restoration or it can spend the money on lawyers. What a sad reputation our state is getting!
Kerry P. Redmann