Environmental activist Mike Stagg, organizer of the March from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion, will discuss Louisiana’s relationship with the oil and gas industry tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 19) in a public meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church on South Claiborne.
The forum will take place at Unitarian Universalist Church on 5212 S. Claiborne Avenue from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The community forum is free and open to the public, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
See the full press release below for more information:
At a community gathering on Tuesday evening, Mike Stagg will discuss the stranglehold that the oil and gas industry has on Louisiana’s executive, legislative and regulatory branches of state government, with particular emphasis on the corruption of the “watchdog” agencies charged with protecting public health. He will also discuss the industry’s latest efforts to frack for oil in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale over the sole source Southern Hills Aquifer, and its blatant circumvention of the law in the 2014 legislative session, resulting in the nullification of the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority’s (East) lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies for decades of non-compliance with state permits and its destruction of nearly 2000 miles of protective coastal wetlands.
Stagg is a longtime Louisiana civic, community, political and social activist. He is a native of Eunice, Louisiana, and currently divides his time between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. He’s been a reporter, a newspaper editor, printer, book publisher, roughneck, roustabout, a truck driver and candidate for political office. He is a campaign strategist, media advisor and manager. Stagg has made documentaries that put human faces on policy choices and works on environmental activism with the Green Army. He recently organized the March from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion and is currently writing a book on the 2010 propaganda campaign against the deep water drilling moratorium that is nearing completion and will be published in early 2015.
Listen to last Thursday’s Garland Robinette interview with Stagg and General Honore here: http://audio.wwl.com/a/95585209/8-14-10am-garland-fracking-in-louisiana.htm
Advance Statement by Mike Stagg:
“The rule of law has been flagrantly ignored, if not mocked, by the oil and gas industry for decades in Louisiana. However much the oil and gas industry may have benefited the state in the past, their assumption that they do not have to respect the rights and needs of others is causing medical tragedies and economic catastrophe to many Louisiana families.
“Put in the context of the oil and gas industry’s assault on the rule of law through attacks on the levee board lawsuit, their decision to abandon coastal southeast Louisiana to the erosion of the wetlands that the oil and gas industry helped to cause, and the climate change that they deny, Louisiana residents have a right to demand compensation for this criminal negligence, not only from the oil and gas industry, but from the state as well. Louisiana officials serve the industry before the health and welfare of the people of Louisiana. The myths of the size of the oil and gas industry in the state serve the interests of the industry in the form of tax breaks and exemptions that undermine the people’s claim on the commons, which includes the right to clean air, water and soil.
“The push to frack the Florida parishes in south Louisiana is the latest in a long string of attacks on the sustainability of life in our state. Excessive consumption by the oil and gas industry of the water from the aquifers that Louisiana has been blessed with, through fracking and water usage by petrochemical plants, is only adding to the misery of Gulf-Coast residents still reeling from the Federal Flood after Katrina and from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
“The last legislative session demonstrated that we are still a petro-colonial state, but that the industry’s grip is surprisingly tenuous. The myth of a benevolent or benign industry is unraveling. The money that fights change comes from that industry, primarily along the “Energy Corridor” that runs along US 90 from Lafayette to Harvey. We must break the grip that the oil and gas industry has on the state if we are going to see ANY progressive change here in Louisiana.”