As Eyewitness News reported yesterday, Gov. Bobby Jindal is delaying his signature on the bill to kill the local flood authority’s lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. That’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
The old adage, “Haste makes waste,” is about to be learned by state lawmakers and Governor Jindal.
In their hurry to kill the local flood authority’s lawsuit against energy companies, the governor and lawmakers may have given BP a chance to escape some of its liability from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The governor was about to sign Senate Bill 469 yesterday, but at the last minute he asked state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell for his opinion. That came after legal scholars warned the new law could help BP dismiss lawsuits brought by the state and some local governments.
On top of that, lawyers for the flood authority say the new law does not kill their lawsuit on behalf of local levee districts.
The stakes could not be higher. The legal analysis is complicated. But the bottom line is clear: If Jindal signs that bill, and if he lets BP escape liability — and doesn’t shut down the flood authority lawsuit — he will look like a fool. Or worse: like the governor who sold out Louisiana to advance his own political agenda.
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