Company Logo


Advocates disrupt oil industry meeting in New Orleans

(New Orleands, LA)

Community advocates including mothers, educators and other residents interrupted a meeting of state oil and gas executives at a New Orleans hotel Thursday.

Nine advocates disrupted a speech by La. Oil & Gas Association president Gifford Briggs at a luncheon for executives, labeled a “State of the Industry” event by LOGA and held at New Orleans’ JW Marriott hotel. They occupied the spot that Briggs vacated as he abruptly ended his own speech and walked off.

“You choose to steal from your children’s future for the sake of more money, but money will not save them,” one protester told the energy execs as they dined. “Our planet is on fire right now.”

Some tables cleared as attendees walked out. At one point, someone dimmed the room’s overhead lights as news media documented the confrontation.

”We disrupted this meeting to protect our home state,” said Anne Rolfes, director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade . “These men get together and act like kings, as if the destruction of our state will never impact them. And so their perpetration continues. But we showed up today – and will keep showing up – to tell them to stop. Stop destroying our coast. Stop causing climate change and floods. Stop polluting us and causing sickness and death.”

Louisiana residents are calling attention to the climate and pollution crisis and the danger that the oil industry poses with its ongoing operations. Advocates are also demanding an end to deadly pollution, destruction of the Louisiana coast and government handouts to the industry.

The team of advocates, which includes members of 350 New Orleans, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement, is committed to nonviolent methods.

LOGA billed this event as an opportunity to brief attendees on the state of the oil and gas industry as well as the 2019 elections coming up in Louisiana, with “ample opportunity for Q&A and networking”. As climate scientists warn of the dangers of global warming and the carbon-based emissions at the root of the crisis, industry leaders want to double down on their efforts, dramatically expanding petrochemical production and refining in Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf region.

LOGA chief Gifford Briggs walks away as advocates interrupt his planned presentation. Photo by Tom Wright/LABB

The advocates peacefully departed the luncheon after about 10 minutes, and organizers closed the doors to the public as Briggs picked up his speech.

The following weekend, Briggs commented on photos from the event posted to LABB’s Facebook page.

“Should have stuck around for awhile,” Briggs wrote. “We had a packed house. A great informative talk, and a group of people really appreciate for the hard work LOGA and our industry does for the state!”

His comments drew a wide range of responses from LABB supporters, including one who told Briggs, “LOGA has been around forever and our State is still at the bottom of every list that is good. How is LOGA helping anything but lining the pockets of thieves. Natural Resources belong to all of us not the crooked few.”