News > Speeches
Jan 04, 2007
Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Your Honor, on behalf of the citizens of Louisiana, it is a privilege to address the Court. Today's Murphy Oil settlement marks a significant victory for the people of St. Bernard Parish. It brings urgent relief to an estimated 6,000 households. And it does so without the extended delays that a trial and appeals would require.
The results make clear that your negotiations put the interests of our people first. Judge Fallon, please accept the State's commendation for your fair handling of the Murphy Oil Settlement.
Three days after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard was hit again by an oil spill. Today's court actions give affected homeowners the additional leg up they need to recover from these two disasters.
As Governor, I led a ten-month fight for the federal funding needed to run Louisiana's Road Home Program. Our program compensates people for damages resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The notice states that the "U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined that homeowners who receive settlement funds for damages caused by the oil spill may also receive Road Home grants.
HUD's determination does not include grants for homeowners who choose to sell their property to Murphy Oil under the limited "buy-out" option of the class action settlement. Homeowners who are located in the Murphy designated buyout area will receive separate notice about their eligibility based on Murphy's offer of a buyout."
I believe it is in line with this Court's actions that we do not count the settlement proceeds against families who are seeking Road Home awards to rebuild.
In closing, I'd like to again thank all parties for the progress you've accomplished. And I'd like to congratulate the people of St. Bernard for reaching a settlement that moves us forward in our recovery. Thank you.