May 20, 2014 05:21 PM

Nara Crowley of Save Lake Peigneur and the GreenARMY argue that Sen. Bret Allain's Senate Bill 469 is simply an attempt to make taxpayers foot the bill for coastal damages caused by the oil and gas industry.

[Editor's Note: This letter from the GreenARMY's Nara Crowley is a response to a letter published in Sunday's Daily Iberian by Sen. Bret Allain titled "SLFPA-E Misguided." Click here for Allain's letter and here for a look at why his legislation is highly hypocritical.]

To the Editor:

Sen. Bret Allain's May 18 Opinion Editorial expresses why he is sponsoring Senate Bill 469, a piece of legislation that would kill a lawsuit brought by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East (SLFPAE) against certain oil, gas and pipeline companies for damages they did to our coast.

Numerous citizens' groups have fought this bill. Business leaders have criticized it. Editorial boards all across the state have opposed it. The New Orleans City Council even adopted a resolution condemning it.

In the face of all this criticism, Sen. Allain would have some pretty ironclad reasons for standing by his bill. He struggled to explain how his bill worked; at one point, Jimmy Faircloth, an attorney who helped write SB 469, actually called Sen. Allain's explanation for bringing the bill a "fringe" legal argument.

On Sunday, Sen. Allain went back to the drawing board and came up with new reasons for promoting his deeply unpopular bill. But his new argument doesn't make any more sense than his old one.

Sen. Allain writes: "Any money collected by this lawsuit, should it proceed, will not go toward fixing Louisiana's coast." Why does Sen. Allain think that? The very law that created SLFPAE in 2006 expressly states that it may establish "erosion control measures, marsh management, coastal restoration, and other flood control works." (La. Rev. Stat. § 38:330.2)

Sen. Allain also writes: "If successful, this suit means more money for SLFPA-E and less money for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund [CPRA]." Does he not realize that CPRA faces a $40 billion-plus shortfall with its Master Plan to restore the coast, and that SLFPAE's lawsuit could go a long way toward helping close that gap?  

In what may be his oddest argument of all, Sen. Allain suggests that the SLFPAE lawsuit will somehow harm Terrebonne Parish. There is absolutely no evidence for that.

Sen. Allain should withdraw SB469, because no matter how many explanations he attempts to justify for the bill the voters of Louisiana decided in 2006 and still recognize this bill as nothing more than a blatant attempt to get taxpayers to pay for damages that oil and gas companies did to our coastline.

On behalf of GreenARMY,

Nara Crowley
President
Save Lake Peigneur, Inc.

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