Chris John: Barry misrepresents report’s findings in latest attack on oil industry

02 27, 2015 by The Advocate

After reading John Barry’s latest rambling in The Advocate, I felt compelled to respond and set the record straight. Once again he erroneously calls out the industry association where I serve as president — the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association — and a 1989 report we commissioned and issued.

The actual point of the study mentioned had nothing to do with Barry’s assertion, and is actually limited to three specific sites not even in the jurisdiction of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Furthermore, the study expressly outlines, “This study did not compare wetland loss rates in channelized and non-channelized reference areas[.]”

Simply put, Mr. Barry made a disingenuous attempt to link an unrelated 26-year-old study to his coastal claims and tried to insert them as something pertinent to his now twice-defeated idea — once in the legislature and most recently in Judge Nannette Brown’s ruling to dismiss the SLFPA-E lawsuit. A historian of Mr. Barry’s caliber ought to know better than to cherry-pick “evidence” in an effort to support a preconceived claim.

Second, let me address the oil and gas industry’s involvement in coastal restoration and also his mention of President Barack Obama’s call to end the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act revenue-sharing plan. The Louisiana delegation has worked long and hard to correct the inequities in the federal government’s revenue-sharing percentage plan with the Gulf Coast states. There is no disputing the tremendous strides made.

And finally, not acknowledging the oil and gas industry as the largest funding source for the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan is laughable and may even be indicative of his true motives — least of which may include coastal rehabilitation. As we have said time and time again, these lawsuits are a distraction to collaborating with the state to strengthen the coast. And no amount of sour grapes can change that.

Chris John

president, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association

Baton Rouge