First settlement with an oil and gas company results in $100 million for twelve coastal parishes
Coastal parishes have reached a $100 million settlement with one of the oil and gas companies accused of causing damage and land loss along the coast. Attorney John Carmouche calls the settlement with Freeport McMoRan Inc. a huge victory for those that live in coastal parishes.
“Land loss and destruction caused by the oil companies needs to be taken care of. We worked hard over the last five years, they’ve brought us to federal court twice. We’re in federal court right now in some of the cases,” said Carmouche.
Carmouche says nearly all of the money goes toward restoration efforts for coastal marshes and wetlands, which often serve as a buffer from hurricanes and flooding. The settlement could set the standard on future litigation with other oil and gas firms.
“They were receptive and that means that $100 million dollars goes to coastal restoration, but this is just the start. Freeport caused less than 1% of the damages along the coast,” said Carmouche.
The settlement requires the approval or 12 coast parish governments, an approval Carmouche believes could be reached in the coming months. Freeport’s deal would require a $15 million payment at first, with the company disbursing money over 22 years.
“They were first, they got the better deal. We were able to come to a fair, economic business decision for both parties,” said Carmouche.