It probably came as little surprise to proponents of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against almost 100 oil and gas companies when Garrett Graves said on Sept. 13 that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would not be reappointing either the president or vice-president of the authority to another term. After all, the board’s President Tim Doody and Vice President John Barry have pushed hard to ensure the lawsuit gets as much attention and support as possible since it was filed in July.
Governor Jindal and his coastal advisor Graves have worked just as diligently to oppose the lawsuit, which demands that the oil industry repair the damage and injury caused to the wetlands by years of dredging and constructing canals and pipelines – or at least pay to have the damage repaired.
Governor Jindal will appoint three seats. The names submitted will be determined by a board that is mostly made up of people in the academia and engineering fields. The group began meeting recently, but Graves clearly stated that if the list of nominees included Doody or Barry, they would not be appointed.
Graves said the governor and he want to work with the remaining members of the SLFPA-E’s board so they can “better understand the implications of the lawsuit.” The problem that the governor still faces is that even with his appointments – and there is another appointment he will have, as well, as one other board member was never confirmed by the State Senate – there will still be a majority on the board who voted in favor of the lawsuit. The governor will only have a say in four new members of the nine-member board – still not enough to have the lawsuit stopped if the votes of the other five members remain the same where the lawsuit is concerned.
nola.com, “Jindal won’t reappoint 2 levee officials who support lawsuit against oil companies” Mark Schleifstein and Manuel Torres, Sep. 16, 2013