Oil and gas companies claim that taking action on climate change puts Louisiana’s economy and workers at risk. But without action, coastal Louisiana residents are at greater risk of losing their homes to rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes. The fossil fuel industry’s contribution to the state economy has been in decline, as has the number of residents employed by the industry. Despite claims that offshore drilling has gotten safer since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up in 2010, the number of workers dying on the job has increased in recent years. A series by grantee Sara Sneath for Southerly and WWNO digs into the data to break down the false narrative of jobs versus the environment. Her reporting shows that the federal agency charged with regulating offshore worker safety only counted about half of known worker deaths in the Gulf of Mexico from 2005 to 2019. The agency changed its count of offshore worker deaths for three years based on Sneath’s reporting.
Series Breaks Down False Claims about Oil and Gas Safety and Revenue in Louisiana – and Leads to Changes in How Rig Deaths Are Tracked – The Fund for Investigative Journalism