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In which court should Louisiana oil and gas lawsuit be heard?

The battle between opposing sides over the lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against almost 100 oil and gas companies is becoming even more heated. The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit against Buddy Caldwell, the state’s attorney general, claiming he did not have the authority to approve a contract between the flood authority and the SLFPA-E.

Governor Bobby Jindal has continued in his opposition of the lawsuit, as has his coastal advisor, Garret Graves. Graves believes the lawsuit will damage the work the state has done and has planned with the oil and gas industry to repair the erosion and other injury to the state’s coastal area. The lawsuit alleges that the industry’s dredging of canals and building of pipelines is responsible for the damage to the wetlands and makes the New Orleans area more susceptible to hurricane flood surges.

The case is currently in a federal court after one of the oil and gas companies sought to have it moved out of the civil district court in Orleans Parish. However, there are “hundreds of pages of arguments and exhibits” on file in the case that only deal with which court, federal or district, should hear the case. The board initially filed the case in July in district court.

Environmental issues are complex and have long-reaching effects and consequences for our planet. When there do not seem to be any answers found through traditional mediation, civil action is often needed to ensure that the damage to the environment stops. The SLFPA-E’s lawsuit is one of those civil actions.

Insurance Journal, “Hearing: Which Court Should Hear Louisiana Coastal Lawsuit ?” Janet McConnaughey, Dec. 20, 2013

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