Louisiana oil and gas industry

Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

A bill working its way through the Louisiana legislature would hand more control of coastal issues to the state, and potentially nullify a handful of lawsuits against oil and gas companies.

Beardo62 / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A bill that could increase the amount of royalty money Louisiana gets from offshore oil and gas drilling advanced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, called the Conservation of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life Act, or COASTAL Act, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La). It would reduce how much oil and gas money goes to the federal government, and increase the amount that goes to states along the Gulf of Mexico -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico saw its biggest drop in more than a decade due to the production shutdown ahead of Hurricane Barry earlier this summer, but most consumers likely didn't notice a difference at the gas pump.

As Hurricane Barry approached the Louisiana coast in July, companies evacuated workers and temporarily shut down many of their oil and gas platforms in the Gulf.

Jim Bowen / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Chinese company Wanhua recently informed St. James Parish officials that it was withdrawing its application to build a chemical plant in the parish. The plant had faced vocal opposition and legal action from some residents and environmental groups, but the trade war with China may also have played a part in the company’s decision.

The Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is loaded with industry. Refinery stacks and storage tanks stand tall on the horizon, their contiguous line interrupted by sugarcane fields, ornate plantations, and quiet neighborhoods.

shannonpatrick17 / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday aimed at making it easier for oil and gas companies to build pipelines.

In recent years, some states - like New York - have prevented pipelines from being built by claiming the oil and gas they move could threaten nearby waterways.

One of Trump’s executive orders focuses on speeding up pipeline projects by making it harder for states to stop them on environmental grounds. It asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review how states apply environmental rules to pipelines.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Mississippi River has been at flood stage for months. Levees and spillways keep most homes and businesses safe and dry from the flood waters, but the high water still creates headaches for levee districts and industries like oil and gas, and fisheries.

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO coastal reporter Travis Lux went to find out how the river creates problems we can’t always see. WWNO’s Tegan Wendland got the details.

BP

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with Mark Schleifstein, environment reporter for Nola.com/The Times-Picayune, about a big new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, the latest on a lawsuit related to Hurricane Katrina damages.

 

The following transcript has been lightly edited:

WWNO / Travis Lux

Thousands of miles of canals have been cut throughout Louisiana’s coastal marsh -- most of them for oil and gas wells and pipelines. A lot of them have never been filled back in, which has contributed to coastal erosion.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Landowners opposed to the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline have lost yet another legal fight.

The crude oil pipeline is currently under construction between Lake Charles, Louisiana and St. James Parish. It’s majority owner is Energy Transfer Partners. Earlier this summer, Energy Transfer started construction on a piece of property in the swampy Atchafalaya Basin. It had permission from most, but not all, of the several-hundred landowners.

Three landowners filed a lawsuit. They said the company was trespassing and they didn’t want it built on their land.

Coastal News Roundup: Small Dead Zone Explained

Aug 3, 2018
Nancy Rabalais / Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: An update on parish lawsuits against oil and gas companies over damages to wetlands, plus, why the Gulf of Mexico dead zone was so much smaller this year.

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