BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry is intervening in thirty-nine coastal land lawsuits which have been filed throughout three parishes: Cameron, Jefferson, and Plaquemines.
Under the Louisiana Constitution – the Attorney General “as necessary for the assertion or protection of any right or interest of the state” has the “authority to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any civil action or proceeding.”
General Landry issued the following statement on this intervention:
“The people of Louisiana are facing some very difficult challenges. Our State government is grappling with budget issues, our industries are struggling to create jobs, and our coastline is washing away. These tribulations require enormous public policy decisions.
It is critical that these issues are resolved with the best interests of the constituents in mind.
This is why I am using my Constitutional authority to intervene in ongoing lawsuits which allege permit violations and damage to our coast.
For years, numerous lawsuits have been filed making claims for coastal erosion and degradation. To date, there are thirty-nine such lawsuits. Complicating matters, these have been filed in three separate Parishes by multiple plaintiffs.
Continuing to allow these parties to steer the public policy of Louisiana regarding our coastal restoration and protection is unhelpful.
We cannot allow these differing, and competing interests, to push claims which collectively impact the public policy for our coast and entire State. Louisiana’s public policy should be dictated by the rule of law and its elected officials.
Therefore, as Louisiana’s duly elected Chief Legal Officer, I have directed my staff to intervene in each and every one of these cases. This intervention is about protecting the rights of the people to direct public policy through their duly elected officers while ensuring our State’s coast is sustainable.
This intervention will ensure that the collaborative work of the State and Parishes on coastal restoration is not threatened with continuous, fragmented lawsuits. It allows these issues to be addressed in totality and in a fair, consistent manner.
I truly believe we can balance the tremendous benefits of the oil and gas industry, which continues to employ thousands of our neighbors, and the ongoing coastal crisis, which threatens our very existence.
This was not an easy decision, but it is an important one.
My action allows us to move forward and deal with these issues that have been plaguing our coast and one of our State’s largest industries.”