Gov. Edwards says state of La. moving forward with oil and gas industry suit

Gov. Edwards says state of La. moving forward with oil and gas industry suit

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that the state will move forward with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry.

Louisiana has an ongoing lawsuit over coastal erosion caused by salt water getting into marshes through canals created by oil and gas companies.

"I had a meeting with the oil, gas industry," Edwards said. "They didn't express interest in talking so we're moving forward with the suit."

The lawsuit has gone back and forth in court for quite some time, but Edwards said it has never been more important for him to play an active role in pursuing the matter and ensuring that it comes to a resolution.

"We need to play an active role in making sure that we are holding oil and gas companies to the word that they would restore damaged to our coast that they caused by their exploration and production activities and I don't think anybody, not even the oil and gas industry, denies that they caused unrepaired coastal damages and in fact their own studies show it," Edwards said.

The governor is set to sit down with Attorney General Jeff Landry, who is currently criticizing Edwards' choice in lawyers to represent the state.

Edwards added he is unsure about the attorney general's motives in disagreeing with the legal team and said he is willing to work through the issues and discuss concerns with the AG, but his choice of legal representation is off the table.

"I'm looking for the best representation," the governor said.

The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association issued the following join statement in response to Gov. Edwards' announcement.

The governor's comments today are an obvious attempt to deflect from the very serious conflict of interest issues that have been raised by the media in recent weeks.

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