The Louisiana Legislature is rarely a place where logical arguments are presented, but an argument Sen. Robert Adley of Benton made in opposition to a local levee board’s suit against Big Oil is particularly perplexing. Adley authored the bill that would kill the lawsuit that the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed against almost 100 oil and gas companies they say contributed to the destruction of the Louisiana coastline without making amends.
Of that suit, Adley said, “It was done illegally. A corrupt process does not breed good things.” It was done illegally? Seriously? If that’s so and if Adley really believes that, why wouldn’t he sit back and let the courts say so? If the suit was filed illegally, why doesn’t he sit back with the certainty that it will go nowhere? If the suit was filed illegally, why is he drafting a law to undo what the levee board has done? Why can’t the laws already on our books be cited to rein that levee board in?
If there are no laws on the books already that prohibit what the levee board has done, then we can’t really call it illegal, can we?
The Louisiana Senate still voted 23-15 for Adley’s bill. Apparently that argument — coming from a man who is the principal investor in Pelican Gas Management Co. — made sense to those other lawmakers. Or, even more likely, the oil and gas industry has given those lawmakers enough cents to go along.