Naturally, the oil and gas industry is a “sacred cow” in Louisiana. Nevertheless, the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality have not been doing a good job in many, many instances.
For example, look at the environmental horrific damage at the Bayou Corne salt dome many believe wrought by Texas Brine Corp. of Houston, Texas. I believe the investigation will show Texas Brine pumped too much waste into the dome’s cavity and used too much pressure in doing so.
And just consider the consequences of the disappearance of Louisiana’s coastal marshlands, which was caused by the many channels dug to bring in drilling rigs on barges.
Our coastline can no longer protect our towns and cities against storm surges. This is catastrophic for South Louisiana!
Shortly after Katrina, I suggested growing mangrove trees along our remaining coastline. Mangrove trees create land! Shortly after, mangrove trees were planted along the coast. It’s an experiment, but it could work if done properly. Go to Google Earth and see the mangrove trees.
In conclusion, I believe most oil/gas exploration companies operating onshore and offshore in Louisiana are conscientious and make concerted efforts to comply with environmental regulations, but I’ve seen with my own eyes the devastation left behind by some exploration companies after they’ve depleted their wells and moved on to new prospects and other states.
So who will protect the environment of Louisiana and its people? Someone, some company, some agency has to stand up and go after the perpetrators who defile Louisiana’s lands and waters, its seafood industry, watersports and recreational resources.
We have witnessed what happens when we “laissez les bons temps rouler” and fail to protect our wonderful state.
Thomas C. Gandolfo
real estate, oil and gas