Gov. Jindal Signs Big Oil Bailout Bill

Oil, Gas, Pipeline Canals in Jefferson Parish. On June 6th, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 469 (becoming act 544), legislation blocking a lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for their damage to Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. The suit, brought by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, was intended to restore wetlands necessary to protect coastal communities from flooding, storm surges, and hurricanes.The legislation has been criticized by over 80 legal scholars for impacting claims against BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster (more here and here), and the state attorney general recommended a veto.This legislation is governance at its worst: poorly written, for the worst of reasons, with no public benefit, and having potentially staggering unintended consequences. Governor Jindal, in his zeal to please the oil and gas industry and further his political ambitions, has abandoned the hundreds of thousands of Louisianans facing another hurricane season with inadequate storm protection and a disappearing coast.Everyone involved in the passage of this bill owns the consequences, but no one is more responsible for shielding the oil and gas industry from accountability than Governor Jindal. He has undermined the efforts of everyone working to restore coastal Louisiana. Not only has he refused to ask the oil and gas industry to live up to their legal obligations, or contribute to coastal restoration in any meaningful way, he has actively blocked others from simply enforcing the law.Governor Jindal’s legacy may well be having let BP off the hook for their damage to Louisiana, as well as all the other oil and gas companies that have damaged our coast. At a minimum, Governor Jindal has strengthened BP’s negotiating position at a time when the company has become even more combative and adversarial.Take a minute to tell Gov. Jindal what you think about his decision to bail out Big Oil at the expense of Louisiana’s coast and taxpayers by sending him a tweet @BobbyJindal, posting a message to his facebook page, or giving his office a call at 866-366-1121.Steve Murchie is GRN’s Campaign Director.

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