"After an anxious weekend, Louisiana residents let out a collective sigh of relief when Hurricane Nate took a turn to the east, sparing them from a direct hit. But they also know that relief is temporary. Especially in Louisiana’s coastal communities, vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is a fact of life and increasingly, communities are looking for how to pay for them.
Several Louisiana parishes—the equivalent of counties in other states—have filed lawsuits alleging hundreds of fossil fuel companies violated their coastal use permits by failing to clean up pollution and by failing to restore the marsh wetlands to their original condition. The suits seek to recover “damages, restoration costs and actual restoration.”
The suits, filed by parishes including St. Bernard, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, Vermillion and Cameron, do not specifically mention climate change as the reason for the suits, but the impacts in question are clearly direct impacts of rising seas driven by global warming. Oil and gas production have left severe damage to the wetlands that protect Louisiana from the sea."