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LA - Op-Ed: Coastal credit schemes are a paper tiger for coastal restoration

For years, frivolous lawsuits levied by a few coastal parishes against hundreds of oil and gas companies have created a chilling effect that has stopped investment and pushed countless jobs out of Louisiana.

For years, frivolous lawsuits levied by a few coastal parishes against hundreds of oil and gas companies have created a chilling effect that has stopped investment and pushed countless jobs out of Louisiana. While Louisiana’s coastline is a vital resource that protects our state from natural disasters, these lawsuits do nothing to help restore our coast. The latest example of this is the proposed Freeport-McMoRan settlement that is more like a paper tiger than a serious proposal for coastal restoration.

The key part of the proposed settlement is an environmental credit scheme that would be managed by the proposed Coastal Zone Recovery Authority (CZRA), an unelected bureaucracy that would be given sweeping power to establish rules and regulations outside of the lead government agency that already exists to direct state coastal policy, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Supporters of the settlement claim that the scheme will provide $100 million for coastal restoration. In reality, the vast majority of these promised funds would come from the sale of credits through an environmental banking program that doesn’t currently exist.

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