Oil and gas officials celebrate Supreme Court's rejection of lawsuit

Halen Doughty

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided it will not hear a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against oil and gas companies amid claims the corporations damaged Louisiana's coast. The suit has been thrown out by a U.S. District Court, the 5th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and now the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s three strikes, and you’re out!” said Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.“These and similar frivolous lawsuits against oil and gas companies are destroying Louisiana’s competitiveness to attract future investment. We are thankful for the Supreme Court’s ruling and will continue to hold true to our convictions, fighting to ensure that the oil and gas industry remains a cornerstone of Louisiana’s culture.”

The plaintiffs argued that decades of drilling along the coast left the region more vulnerable to storms by destroying the wetlands with canals and dredging. The suit cited state laws requiring companies to restore the land to its original condition after work is completed. The SLFPA-E sought to force 97 exploration and production companies to either restore the and or pay the levee authority for costs associated with protecting the area from storms.

The U.S. District Court concluded that the claims did not state sufficient grounds for relief, as outlined in state law, which the Board of Commissioners of SLFPA-E then appealed. The Fifth District Court of Appeals later affirmed the dismissal, and ultimately the Supreme Court denied the request to review the lower court’s decision.

This decision finally closes the book on one of many frivolous lawsuits in Louisiana," said Chris John, President of Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, "These claims are meritless and I am gratified to see the U.S. Supreme Court denied their writ. Finally, we can put this lawsuit to rest.”

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