For Immediate Release August 28, 2013
Contact: Darryl Malek-Wiley, Sierra Club 504-427-1885 (Cell)
(New Orleans) Governor Jindal’s aggressive stance against the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East in its lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies is being called into question today amidst revelations that the Governor has received over a million dollars in campaign contributions from the oil industry.
According to official campaign finance records on file with the state Board of Ethics, the Governor has received a generous stream of financial support from oil and gas interests throughout the course of his career.
“The Governor is the Million Dollar Man when it comes to taking money from the oil industry,” said Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “We now know why he is against this lawsuit. He is selling out our state so he can raise money for his political campaigns. It’s a scandal on par with the worst this state has ever seen – and we’ve seen a lot.”
While there are relatively few large contributors (Helis Oil and Gas Company donated $25,000), it is noteworthy that there is a wide array of supporting companies, over two hundred. The average gift is about $4,000.
“Louisiana’s coastal wetlands have been very good for the oil and gas industry,” said Darryl Malek-Wiley of the Sierra Club. “Each year billions of dollars flow into the profits of the oil and gas industry and it is far past time for these companies who have taken wealth out of Louisiana to help fix the problems in our coastal wetlands that they have created.”
Over 12,000 people have signed a petition asking the Governor to support the lawsuit.
“The Flood Authority has broad support,” said Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org. “Such a show of support is important and very meaningful to the Levee Authority commissioners who are fighting this fight.”
Scientists have shown that at least 36%–and perhaps as much as 90%–of the unprecedented wetlands loss Louisiana experiences has been caused by the oil, gas and pipeline companies. The oil industry has long acknowledged the fact that their non-remediated navigation channels and pipeline canals have significantly destroyed Louisiana’s natural coastal protection from hurricane storm surge. Despite this admission, however, they have failed to pay their fair share for coastal restoration.