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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Does Bobby Jindal think oil companies should clean up mess?

The governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has opposed a lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East from the beginning. The lawsuit names 97 oil and gas companies as defendants for their role in the damaged wetlands along Louisiana's coast. The suit alleges that the damage is due to dredging and the construction of canals and pipelines. Without the injury to this area, there would be more protection against storm surges and less repairs needed for the levee systems around New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

According to one Louisiana paper, the Times-Picayune, Governor Jindal says the coast needs to be restored and the state needs to protect it, but not with a lawsuit. His coastal advisor and other members of the top levee boards said that the oil and gas industry has contributed to the restoration of the wetlands.

Environmental groups, though, say that Governor Jindal has another reason for opposing the lawsuit. Many of those groups got together and accused the governor of trying to get the lawsuit quashed in order to keep getting his political contributions from the oil and gas companies. Those contributions total more than $1 million in the last decade, according to numbers provided by Levees.org, League of Woman Voters, and the Sierra Club, as well as others.

A spokesperson for Governor Jindal had this to say about those accusations: "That's absurd."

The lawsuit will continue to face heavy opposition and there will likely be some changes made in the SLFPA-E when the governor appoints new board members. There was also a letter sent to the Attorney General's Office by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association that says Buddy Caldwell did not have the authority to approve the lawsuit.

grist.org, "Bobby Jindal doesn't think Big Oil should have to clean up its mess" John Upton, Aug. 29, 2013

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