The Lafayette Daily Advertiser ran this op-ed on page 4B of their March 29, 2012, print edition.
By Mike Stagg
Somewhere there is an objective analysis of the economic impact of the environmental damage oil companies have inflicted on Louisiana as well as an assessment of what the cost of cleaning up that mess has had on the industry.
However, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) has not offered one.
LOGA recently cited what it called independent research to back its claim that holding oil and gas companies responsible for environmental damage inflicted during exploration and production operations is depressing Louisiana’s energy sector.
“The Impact of Legacy Lawsuits” by Dr. David Dismukes, is little more than LOGA propaganda masquerading as academic analysis.
Dismukes, associate director of LSU Center for Energy Studies, claimed that legacy lawsuits cost the state billions in lost drilling investments over the past eight years. Dismukes based part of his work on a seven-year-old poll of oil and gas industry leaders on legacy lawsuits that LOGA commissioned.
The LSU CES Advisory Council is dominated by the energy industry and lobbyists like LOGA’s Don Briggs. These close ties make the objectivity of Dismukes’ work for LOGA suspect.
Dismukes' estimates on the impact of the deep water drilling moratorium raise more flags.
Dismukes' June 2010 report “Deepwater Moratorium: Overview of Impacts for Louisiana" was at the core of the anti-moratorium fear campaign that LOGA led. He forecast calamity in Lafayette.
Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) later had to explain why their moratorium forecast proved so wrong. LEDA’s forecast was based on Dismukes’ work.
Dismukes was wrong about the moratorium. His work on the impact of legacy lawsuits lacks objectivity. Still, LOGA uses Dismukes' flawed work to fuel a disinformation campaign.