• Pictured, from left: Bobby Thomas (Executive director PABI), Chris McLindon (Exploration Geologist in the Oil and Gas Industry) and Michelle Herbert (PABI Chairperson 2019). Photo by Zu Carpenter

McLindon calls on CPRA to consider O&G research

A New Orleans geologist with close ties to the oil and gas industry believes the time has come for coastal restoration agencies to partner with the industry many blame for accelerating land loss.

During a Jan. 16 address to the Plaquemines Association of Business & Industry (PABI) in Belle Chasse, Chris McLindon, past president of the New Orleans Geological Survey and an exploration geologist with Upstream Exploration in Metairie, called on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to open its doors to oil and gas companies in order to use decades of data and maps compiled by the industry. Specifically, McLindon believes underground faults have played a much larger role in coastal erosion than CPRA is acknowledging and that the nascent Louisiana Coastal Geohazards Atlas being compiled by NOGS could help CPRA better target its efforts.

“The barriers to communication between the energy industry and the government need to be removed to create an incentive structure to facilitate information sharing,” McLindon told PABI.

He argues that oil and gas companies are just as invested in environmental protection as agencies like the CPRA, noting that “the quality of the environment determines the strength of the economy.” He points to the $19 billion in investments being pursued by the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District as an example of the economic power of the Louisiana coast and Mississippi River. If the coast were to go away, argues Mc-Lindon, so would the business.

 

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