Hundreds of people will rally against new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Wednesday.
The protest coincides with an upcoming federal auction of nearly 45 million acres of land in the Gulf of Mexico that will take place inside the dome.
Organizations like the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Care 2 Inc. tell WDSU that for several decades the oil and gas industry has not taken care of the water, animals and lands surrounding that region. The groups have also said the industry has had a large hand in climate change.
Protest organizers said, aside from the fact that the auction will be happening inside, there is another reason the groups thought it fitting to have the protest outside the Superdome.
“Of course the Superdome has become iconic for a number of reasons, but clearly Hurricane Katrina is one of the most important. Do we want to avoid that again? We need to have our wetlands and we need to have storms that are not becoming stronger because of climate change,” said Aaron Viles with Care 2 Inc.
The groups are also calling for 1,000 workers to be hired to repair aging oil industry infrastructure.
“They have leaking pipes and leaking valves underground. That’s actually Exxon in Baton Rouge, the second largest refinery in the country. A picture from an EPA inspection showed plastic bags and duct tape on the valves. This is the state of the industry and we need men and women hired now to repair that industry,” said Anne Rolfes, with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
People participating in the rally are asked to meet at Duncan Plaza at 7 a.m. The group will the march to the dome, where the protest will run until noon.