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It might sound good for the oil and gas companies to “surrender” jurisdiction to a government agency, right, like Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources? Let’s keep the lawyers out of this. Sounds like a good idea but…we wouldn’t need lawsuits to protect our lands from oil and gas company abuse if the government agencies had done their jobs in the first place. The truth is oil and gas have bought off government officials for decades, rendering the state Department of Natural Resources virtually non-existent when it comes to regulating or prosecuting for contamination.
In 2011, citizen and environment groups managed to stop the powerful oil and gas lobbies from taking away landowners’ right to sue to get their lands cleaned up from oil and gas contamination and pollution, and we defeated efforts to weaken Act 312, which allows what are called “legacy lawsuits”. We might not be so lucky in 2012. That is why we’re asking if you and your organization will agree to join an information network so we can be ready to act in 2012.