The oil and gas industry employs nearly two million Louisianans, and pays hundreds of millions of dollars into the state treasury each year. It is at the core of Louisiana’s economy, and has been for many years. But over the last few decades, plaintiffs’ lawyers have recruited increasing numbers of private landowners and state and local officials to file lawsuits against oil and gas companies over allegedly contributing to coastal erosion. This litigation has reached a point that it threatens the future of the energy industry in Louisiana.
ILR’s research looks at the history of the energy industry in Louisiana and of the litigation that continues to target it. The paper then concludes by calling for state and local leaders to work with the energy industry to remediate coastal damage, rather than filing lawsuits that only serve to enrich plaintiffs’ lawyers.