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Oil and gas association: Lawsuit’s approval was without authority

A letter sent to the Louisiana Attorney General’s office from the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) claims that approval for the lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies was given without authority. The lawsuit, filed in July by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East (SLFPA-E), alleges that the oil and gas companies’ construction of pipelines and canals, as well as dredging, has eroded the Louisiana coastline. As a result of such injury, the wetlands no longer provide a buffer for storm surges.

The letter from LOGA says that it will file suit against Attorney General Buddy Caldwell if his office does not withdraw the approval. The letter states that the Attorney General’s office must represent the SLFPA-E unless the authority can show a “real necessity” for its own counsel. LOGA says that the SLFPA-E did not do so. In addition, LOGA says that if monies were received from the lawsuit, the SLFPA-E would not be authorized to direct how the funds would be spent.

The Attorney General’s office said that it will review the letter, but had no other comment. John Barry, who is the vice president of the SLFPA-E and has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the suit, said in a statement that the SLFPA-E “is confident it has complied with every aspect of Louisiana law at each step in this process.”

Barry also said that LOGA was simply ignoring the real problems that the lawsuit addresses. He went on to say in his statement that LOGA was attacking the judgment and competency of the Attorney General.

This is just another step in the controversy surrounding the lawsuit. It has been the target of many political powers, oil and gas companies and even other Louisiana levee boards. Just a few days ago, several environmental groups accused Governor Bobby Jindal of fiercely fighting against the lawsuit because of the massive amount of campaign contributions made by oil and gas companies.

nola.com, “Oil-gas industry, local levee board clash over AG’s authorization of board’s lawsuit” Bruce Eggler, Sep. 05, 2013

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