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While this article is excellent on the current and future technical impacts of the US oil and gas industry expansion on Louisiana, despite the title, it could use more environmental impact examples and details. While mentioning in passing the fact that overproduction will lead to the need for more salt dome storage, it fails to tie that into the problem of the Louisiana sinkhole, which appears a collapsing salt-dome. Nor does it discuss the use of such salt domes for brine production nor for the disposal of oil and gas wastes, which may include radioactive NORM wastes. http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/publications/brochures/SaltCav.pdf A few additional missing things which spring to mind immediately and which have been known for over 20 years: high cancer rates such as “cancer alley” concentrated around the petrochemical processing corridor; various industrial accidents – e.g. explosions such as those in Norco Louisiana; destruction of wetlands by pipelines, etc. These wetlands protect Louisiana from hurricanes and without them New Orleans and smaller coastal communities will be in really bad trouble. The wetlands also were (are) the breeding ground for the seafood industry, if there is still a seafood industry post-BP oil spill.

As such, a New Orleans levee board filed suit last summer against almost 100 oil, gas and pipeline companies for damages. John Barry who helped spearhead this suit was recently unceremoniously axed by Governor Bobby Jindal, who hopes to find appointees who will kill the lawsuit. (One should probably examine the money trail). We remain perplexed as to how they were replaced, if they “do not serve at the governor’s pleasure”. As told by John Barry: “Until October 16, 2013, I served on the levee board responsible for protecting most of greater New Orleans. On July 24, 2013, that board filed suit against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and 93 other oil, gas, and pipeline companies for the damage they have done to the flood protection system in our jurisdiction. The suit is a significant event in Louisiana and the governor has demanded we withdraw it, but we are an independent board, created after Katrina by a constitutional amendment. The board is insulated from political pressure because, unlike other levee boards in the state, we do not serve at the governor’s pleasure. However, my term on the board and that of two other board members expired, and because of the suit the governor replaced us with appointees who promised to try to get the board to kill the suit.” http://www.johnmbarry.com/bio.htm
See also: http://coastal.la.gov/ http://coastal.la.gov/newscategory/in-the-news/

The Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle

Leadership Meeting
New Orleans, LA
October 11, 2013

By Wilma Subra
Subra Company
Louisiana Environmental Action Network

Oil and Gas Wells

There are 4,000 drilling and production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of the platforms are off the coast of Louisiana. Thousands of producing wells are also located in the territorial seas off the coast of Louisiana, within three miles of the shore and under state jurisdiction.

Each platform serves a number of producing wells that produce crude oil, natural gas and condensate. The products are transported on shore through a maze of pipelines.

There are also more than 40,000 producing oil and gas wells on land in the state of Louisiana.

The oil and gas wells on shore and off shore leak, spill and discharge toxic chemicals, crude oil, natural gas and produced water on a regular and ongoing basis. These toxic chemicals have a severe…

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