A letter published Wednesday by the Shreveport Times is a far-cry from reality, says an advocate for Lake Peigneur.
The spin doctors of the oil and gas industry are at it again, says Save Lake Peigneur Inc. president Nara Crowley.
Crowley tells IND Monthly she couldn't believe her eyes when she read a letter-to-the-editor in Wednesday's Shreveport Times written by Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Briggs' letter, Crowley says, fails to address any of the actual issues being faced by the hundreds of residents living near Lake Peigneur, located in the rural areas of Vermilion and Iberia parishes.
In Wednesday's letter, Briggs claims the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish and 1980 disaster at Lake Peigneur are unrelated. He also criticizes the failed legislation introduced by state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, during this year's Session to make it mandatory for companies AGL Resources to conduct an environmental impact statement before Lake Peigneur's underground caverns can be used for storing natural gas. Briggs describes Mills' bill as being a "touch overboard."
Also left unexplained by Briggs is the bubbling at Lake Peigneur, which Crowley says has been going on for years, nor does it answer questions about aquifer contamination, which is what happened in Assumption Parish during an accident several years ago.
Crowley says she knows first-hand the powerful grip groups like Briggs' LOGA have over the state's lawmakers, and how unscrupulous they can be when spinning an issue.
Crowley says the day Mills' bill went up for a vote by the Health and Hospitals Committee, she was almost certain it would pass. But the legislation somehow died after a last-minute discussion between lawmakers and officials from LOGA and AGL Resources.
"The committee then changed their mind, even people who we had assurances from changed their vote," Crowley recalls.
Nevertheless, she says a new bill is in the works that will be introduced next year. In the meantime, Crowley says she'll be waiting to see if her response to Briggs' gets published by the Times.
"We don't get too much help, so I really am hoping my letter gets printed so people don't think everything Mr. Briggs wrote is truth," adds Crowley.
Click here to read Briggs' letter to the Shreveport Times.