NEW ORLEANS -- The Bucket Brigade is leading environmental groups on a four-day 'No Big Oil Bailout' bus tour across south Louisiana, highlighting the impact of oil and natural gas drilling on fragile coastal areas.
'These two canals are not natural canals,' said Darryl Malek-Wiley of the Sierra Club. 'They were caused by oil and gas exploration, and we have thousands, tens of thousands of miles of these canals all across Louisiana, and they're acting as a cancer that is eating away our wetlands.'
'What happens if the oil companies don't pay for the destruction of the coast?' asked Anne Rolfes of the Bucket Brigade. 'Then we have to pay for it.'
They are concerned about the legislature and governor trying to stop the lawsuit filed against oil companies by the Flood Protection Authority, the levee board.
'It is crystal clear that the industry does have significant responsibility for the land loss,' said former Flood Protection Authority board member John Barry.
Former levee board member John Barry won't be making the tour because he'll be meeting with legislators in advance of a committee meeting on the bill to kill the lawsuit filed by the levee board.
And Barry said he's now feeling optimistic.
'There's a very important vote coming up in committee tomorrow,' said Barry. 'I think it's the most important bill that's been debated so far, SB 531. If that bill were to become law, it would absolutely kill the lawsuit. I think we have an excellent chance of winning that vote tomorrow in the Senate Judiciary A Committee.'
Barry hopes SB 531 will be voted down, but knows it could be deferred.
'Yeah, it's still an uphill fight, but it is still a winnable fight.'