[Ed. – Sounds like a classic sue-and-settle shakedown. Activists can’t get the EPA to join in this now, so they’re getting Louisiana local governments to do it instead. For the parishes, I assume it’s a sue-and-settle plan, just to make money off the oil companies. As the author says, the parishes’ economies are dependent on those oil companies. The parish governments don’t actually want to shut anything down. They just want to use a court process to squeeze some money out of the companies.]
2018 is shaping up to be a year where oil companies operating in the Gulf will be forced to justify their practices in court without any specific violations being in question.
Twenty coastal parishes (out of a total of 60 in the state) are filing lawsuits against oil companies who either are operating or did operate in the area. The lawsuit is surprising in its breadth. Each company is being sued individually and the list of names includes both major companies like Chevron, Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil, as well as smaller companies that no longer operate in the area. In part, the lawsuit looks back to the 1930s, when development in the area began. …
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has brought the lawsuits [from 2013; see article] back into play, laying the foundation for what could cost the industry tens of billions of dollars and earn trial lawyers hefty fees.