BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Opponents of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline took the fight to Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday.
The groups Louisiana Bucket Brigade and the Center for Constitutional Rights held a news conference Thursday morning at the Governor's Mansion to re-iterate their opposition to the project.
They also said they've uncovered public documents showing surveillance of opponents to the project and collaboration between Edwards and companies involved with the construction.
The groups say they were heavily monitored, while company reps were given easy access to high-level officials to promote the pipeline. The project is a 162-mile pipeline that will carry crude oil from Lake Charles to St. James Parish.
Rev. Harry Joseph, a pastor from St. James, made the trip to Baton Rogue to express his displeasure with the pipeline.
"We are being tagged by everything by the plants and now, it's the Bayou Bridge Pipeline and my fear is that when the Bayou Bridge Pipeline gets there, it's going to be some more destroying, because somebody is going to bring tanks in," Joseph said.
"I think the government should look at what's going on and put people in authority that are going to protect us. Put in people that are going to fight for us, not people that just say we can't do nothing for y'all," he added.
Opponents have called for more research into the environmental impacts of the project. There are several legal battles going through the courts. In January, a Baton Rouge judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by activists, seeking company records for the pipeline. The group is appealing that ruling.
The governor's office released a statement Thursday that it has complied with all public records requests submitted on the pipeline and the court affirmed that on February 2.
Last week, US District Judge Shelly Dick ruled that construction along the Atchafalaya Basin must stop, but work can continue elsewhere.
Protesters said they have shown up at construction sites and several of them have been arrested for civil disobedience.