New Louisiana Law Kills Lawsuit Against Oil, Gas Companies

June 9, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation aimed at killing a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area regional levee board against 97 oil and gas companies, despite concerns that the new law could negatively affect state and government claims against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"This bill will help stop frivolous lawsuits and create a more fair and predictable legal environment, and I am proud to sign it into law," Jindal said in a written statement Friday (June 6).

The oil and gas industry, which lobbied heavily in favor of the bill, cheered Jindal's decision to sign it. But Louisiana's Attorney General and local officials in parishes that have sued BP expressed renewed concerns. Environmentalists decried Jindal's action, saying it could have long-lasting negative consequences for the state.

The levee board lawsuit demands that energy companies either fix damage caused by dredging canals and pipeline channels and other actions, or pay the authority for damages that can't be restored. Critics of the lawsuit have called it an unfair attack on an industry that is vital to Louisiana.