The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association will appeal the ruling of a state judge who said the Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East could hire its own private attorneys to prosecute lawsuits against the oil and gas industry in Louisiana.

LOGA Vice President Gifford Briggs said that as the state's attorney, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell should be the person in charge of the prosecution since the Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is a part of the Regional Levy Authority, which is a state board. By state law, Briggs said state boards "are prohibited from hiring attorneys on contingency fees."

"The Attorney General is the attorney for the Flood Protection Authority, and therefore he's the only one that can represent them," Briggs said. "And if he has to hire additional attorney's, it can't be on a contingency fee basis."

Briggs said the lawsuits are a result of "greedy trial lawyers" who are attacking the industry and "[driving] investments into other states."

To rally support for the oil and gas industry, Briggs said LOGA is touring the state on what's being called the "Give 'em the Boot" campaign. Briggs said one in five people is affected by someone in the industry, everybody needs an opportunity to have their voices heard on the issue.

The oil and gas industry makes up "15 to 17 percent of state general fund dollars," Briggs said. "If those severance tax and royalty dollars aren't there, we know what happens in the budget: you're going to cut healthcare or you're going to cut education."

"Instead of allowing that to happen, instead of paying higher taxes or sacrificing our healthcare or education, we have the opportunity to give a few greedy trial lawyers the boot and really give the opportunity for our oil and gas industry to begin exploring and producing in this state again," Briggs added.

LOGA will make a stop at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette as part of their tour with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m. A similar meeting will be held at the Petroleum Club in Morgan City Friday at 11:30 a.m.

To listen to the full interview with Briggs, click on the 'Play' button below.