Louisiana Oil and Gas Association

Wikimedia Commons

When the Louisiana Tax Commission met Wednesday, they heard arguments that went to the heart of the state’s income versus outgo problem.

"Never in the history of our industry has it been as bad in Louisiana as it is today," said Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs.


They’re called “legacy lawsuits”—when property owners sue oil and gas companies for environmental damage done in decades past. Thursday, Louisiana’s House spent hours hearing—and ultimately approving—two bills dealing with legacy lawsuits.

“When we get to court, we know there’s an issue,” explained Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo, while introducing his bill, which would let parties on either side ask the Department of Natural Resources to come up with a remediation plan for the polluted or otherwise damaged property.