Big Oil's elder statesman of spin has become a favorite punching bag of groups that support litigation against oil and gas companies.
Two advocacy groups that support lawsuits filed over the last several months — one by a New Orleans levee board and three filed by parish governments — against scores of oil and gas companies for damage done to Louisiana’s coast over decades of exploration and drilling have set their sites on the chief detractor of those suits: Don Briggs, founder and president of the powerful and influential Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.
Since a disastrous deposition in February during which he couldn’t cite a single example of oil companies scaling back activity in Louisiana due to lawsuits against oil companies — stress from that poor performance, according to his attorneys, resulting in an aggravation of a pre-existing health condition — Briggs has laid pretty low, turning over spokesman duties to his son Gifford, vice president of LOGA. But that hasn’t dulled the blades of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Justice Louisiana, environmental advocacy groups that support the lawsuits.
The former recently produced and released on YouTube a video, “Don Briggs in ‘Say Anything.’” The latter sent to media a PDF entitled “Louisiana Oil and Gas President Don Briggs: Which is it?” In both cases the groups take Briggs to task for contradictory statements he has made about the oil and gas industry in Louisiana, juxtaposing comments about the detrimental effects of legacy lawsuits with glowing statements about how well the industry is doing in the Bayou State (see below and decide for yourself).