Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

155-Mile March Protests Oil and Gas Industries Threat to Drinking Water

A group of concerned citizens walked 155-miles in eight days from Grand Isle to Baton Rouge, along Louisiana Highway 1. They arrived at dusk Friday via the east bank levee of the Mississippi River and headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal's mansion yesterday for “Flood into Baton Rouge,” an event focused on water quality issues and threats to clean drinking water by the oil and gas industry in communities throughout the state.

[slideshow_deploy id='346855']

The march was organized in response to Governor Jindal’s signing of SB 469 into law (Act 544) earlier this month. Although the purported intent of the law was to kill the lawsuit filed against 97 oil and gas companies by the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East, the law was so hastily and broadly written that Attorney General Caldwell and more than 100 legal scholars from across the nation urged the governor’s veto because as written, the law might jeopardize the state’s claim to environmental penalties that will be levied against British Petroleum (BP) from the 2010 BP Macondo explosion, according to march organizer Mike Stagg.

Exempting the oil and gas industry from liability for their share of damages to the coast and jeopardizing the state’s claim to BP penalty money, leaves the state with a Coastal Master Plan that has a Phase I price tag of $50 billion and no revenue stream for its implementation.

“In haste to protect the most profitable industry in the history of the world, Governor Jindal and the state legislature have essentially issued a death sentence for coastal communities in Louisiana,” said Stagg. “We hope the march and gathering in Baton Rouge yesterday stimulates critical conversations statewide about how the oil and gas industry has come to see our wetlands and fresh groundwater as resources on which they have a greater claim than citizens.”

The six marchers crossed the Mississippi River carrying water taken from the Gulf of Mexico last Saturday at Grand Isle, which bears the onerous distinction as the place in North America most endangered by climate change. The water joined other “troubled waters” at the Governor’s mansion brought by residents from other parts of Louisiana who share the circumstances surrounding the threat that the oil and gas industry poses on their communities.

“We have long made a series of environmental tradeoffs that, if viewed separately, might not pose a long-term threat to the health and well-being of communities,” Stagg said.

“But the cumulative effect of decades of these tradeoffs has started to become apparent, with threats to ground water ranging from fracking in the Florida Parishes, to heavy industrial use by Exxon and Georgia Pacific in Baton Rouge, to pollution of the Ouachita River from plants located in Arkansas, to Lake Peigneur (where billions of gallons of drinking water might be used to carve salt dome storage caverns), to ground water pollution in the heavily industrialized sector near Lake Charles. Clean water is essential to life. We need to treat it as the precious resource that it is.”

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less