In criticizing the suit, though, Graves laid more of the blame for coastal damage on the corps, arguing that the Mississippi River levees and other corps projects were more to blame for coastal damage than oil and gas companies.Here's the new definition of scrape.
“If you’re worried about coastal restoration, if you’re worried about the sustainability of this area, I wonder why you’re worried about a scrape on a heart-attack patient,” he said.
"What is so tragic about the oil and gas industry’s approach to this — and the state’s sort of callous disregard, I mean complete negligence — was that there were answers,” says Tulane environmental law professor Oliver Houck. “They could have avoided the dredging, they could have immediately repaired the dredging following — they didn’t do either. Having made very sure the state wouldn’t touch them, they turned around and said, ‘Hey, the state never touched us.’ Well, come on — the state is just as complicit in the oil and gas damage as the industry is.”That's a mighty sharp tool they used to scrape out those oil field canals. It's not often that a scrape takes thousands of years off the patient's life.
The dredging would eventually slow down because the oil and gas fields under the wetlands were playing out and the action was moving offshore, where 4,000 rigs would eventually be planted off the state’s coast.
But the damage had been done. Of the nearly 2000 miles of coastal wetlands lost between the 1930s and 2010, researchers say anywhere from 30 to 90 percent can be traced to actions by the oil and gas industry.
“I’m comfortable with up to 90 percent,” says LSU researcher Gene Turner. He says for every acre of canal dredged, there is another five to seven acres of wetland that is lost.
The government built levees to protect communities from Mississippi River floods. It built jetties at the river's mouth to prevent sandbars from forming and blocking shipping traffic. Those projects worked, but they also accelerated land loss by cutting off sediment flow to the wetlands that once kept pace with subsidence, the natural sinking of soft marsh soils.But then they tell us we're entering the post-antibiotic era of medicine. Maybe a scrape really is a deadly cut. nowadays.
Still, the Louisiana coast might have survived another 1,000 years or more, Louisiana State University scientists said. But the discovery of oil and gas compressed its destruction into a half-century.
By the 1980s, the petroleum industry and the corps had dredged more than 20,000 miles of canals and new navigation channels from the coast inland across the wetlands. The new web of waterways, like a circulatory system pumping poison, injected saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico into salt-sensitive freshwater wetlands. Fueled by the advance of big business on the coast, the Gulf's slow march northward accelerated into a sprint.