Corps Lawsuit Likely

High-ranking state officials have been inserting talking points into their responses on recent coastal lawsuits that position the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as one of the real culprits behind delayed projects and wetlands loss.

And now we know why, as The Advocate's Jeff Adelson reported last week:

Even as the battle over a lawsuit against oil and gas companies raged throughout the day at a local levee authority’s meeting, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top coastal official hinted Thursday that the state might be readying its own coastal-erosion suit against a much different target — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In a presentation attacking the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves spent nearly as much time blasting the corps for its alleged contribution to wetland losses as he did criticizing the authority’s contract with its attorneys. Asked about that focus after the meeting, Graves would not go into details, saying, “I don’t want to disclose our legal strategy.”

In an interview with a few days earlier, Graves touched upon the same themes:

When you look across the spectrum, the attribution of coastal land loss over the last 80 years, the largest single component without question, is the Army Corps of Engineers’ river management, the leveeing of the rivers. It is not just historic loss, it is perspective loss. Our guys have estimated that that loss is probably valued at $2 billion a year. Let’s say that the flood authority is wildly successful. After the contingency fee, it’ll provide us with roughly enough cash to cover less than four years of damage that the Corps is doing.

It's completely possible that the state's legal strategy has been knocked off balance by the other coastal lawsuits filed recently by the New Orleans-area flood authority and Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes—both against oil and gas companies.

To be certain, the state has very real grievances against the Corps and grounds for a variety of arguments.

So, as more becomes known, the question isn’t if the state will sue, but when and for what.

As for the when, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority meets next week, with an agenda due out possibly as early as Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. That’s when the ball may start rolling.


PSC May Sue Legislature

The Public Service Commission is expected to meet in executive session on Friday to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the Louisiana Legislature. The request for an executive session was made by Commission Chair Eric Skrmetta. At issue is the passage of SB 50 (Act 278) by Sen. Blade Morrish, which addresses certain forms […]

GONE FISHING: Annual Summer Publishing Break

Annual Summer Publishing Break: June 20 — July 10, 2017 Dear Friend, Longtime LaPolitics subscribers know the final week of June and the first week of July mark our annual summer publishing break. There’s also an Easter publishing break, but the Legislature had other ideas for the LaPolitics family of publications this year. That scheduled week off […]


Turning attention to race for treasurer State Rep. John Schroder of Covington has filed the required paperwork to resign from the Louisiana House of Representatives and intends to vacate his seat immediately following the adjournment of the regular session on Thursday, he told friends and family during a gathering this evening. Schroder told supporters that […]

Critics Still Want John White’s Job

The following story was originally published on April 21, 2017, for subscribers to LaPolitics Weekly. Wish you would have seen it then? Sign up now! A small handful of influential political players and legislators, including at least one chairman, are making a hard push to remove Education Superintendent John White from his position. Both sides […]

PSC Speculation

In the wake of news that Pubic Service Commissioner Scott Angelle was being vetted in March for a position with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, politicos have turned their attention to the possibility of his seat opening up on the PSC. If Angelle does get a nod from the Trump Administration, then […]

UPDATED: Two Capital Outlay Bills Coming

With a 6 p.m. bill filing deadline approaching, it appears the Legislature will be seeing double when it comes to the annual construction budget. Ways and Means Chairman Neil Abramson is expected to introduce his version of HB 2, which will mirror the capital outlay plan the administration recently drafted. However, Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger will […]

JBE Fundraising Report: $3.2M COH

READ THE ENTIRE REPORT HERE! — Gov. John Bel Edwards’ campaign has raised $3.6 million since he was elected governor in 2015 — He raised $3.2 million in 2016 — Edwards ended 2016 with $3.2 million cash on hand — 1,636 new contributors in 2016 —$3.4 million raised from Louisiana contributors — Edwards did not fundraise during the […]