"Louisiana Lawsuits Seek Oil & Gas Industry Money To Restore Coastline"

"Louisiana Republicans work to quash lawsuits seeking oil and gas industry funds to restore the coastline."

"Every two weeks, a swath of Louisiana the size of this city's French Quarter vanishes into the Gulf of Mexico. Since the 1930s, the state has lost nearly 1,900 square miles, a quarter of its coastal land area.

For decades, oil and gas companies cut canals through fragile wetlands with the state's approval to haul equipment and install pipelines. But scientists say the dredging let salt water flow in, killing vegetation that kept the land from eroding.

Without the buffer of these marshes and barrier islands, Louisiana's many low-lying coastal communities — and its biggest city — now have little natural protection from storm surges created by hurricanes."

Neela Banerjee reports for the Los Angeles Times May 18, 2014.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014