Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-BP): His not-so-shocking betrayal of Louisiana

Blogger Lamar White has produced a must-read post about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s and the Legislature’s shocking betrayal of Louisiana’s coastal communities.

On first blush, Senate Bill 469, signed last week by Jindal, appears to be aimed at negating the 97 lawsuits filed against Big Oil by Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority- East (SLFPA-E). At closer examination, however, it appears the real intent may have been far more nefarious.

That’s not just White’s opinion. As he explains below so well in his post, dozens of eminent legal scholars have concluded that the most profound impact of the bill may be to relieve BP from most or all of its legal liability for the damage it has done to the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana’s coast. Could that have been the purpose of the bill all along?

Here’s the post:

If You Care About Louisiana, This Should Make You Livid

“A lot of people mentioned to me how omnipresent BP lobbyists were, more than the other major oil companies were (though all of them showed plenty of interest), so much more that it got a lot of people wondering, `What’s in the bill for them?’ It certainly got us wondering.” – John Barry, June 5, 2014

“As our analysis shows, SB 469 fails to protect the local governments whose concerns your letter concedes are at issue and puts at risk billions of dollars of local government claims against BP. And, here, it should be noted that BP heavily lobbied for the passage of SB 469 – a fact strongly suggesting that the now known consequences of SB 469 were not unintended at all.” – Robert Verchick, June 4, 2014

“They (BP) didn’t lobby me, because they knew my position. But they lobbied several of my colleagues.” – State Representative John Bel Edwards, June 5, 2014

*****

In the late evening of April 20, 2010, Ryan Chaisson, Wes Bourg, Dustin King, and Albert Andry- a group of friends who called themselves the Knight Ryderz- were out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. They steered their boat ten miles south of the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area, fifty miles off the Louisiana coast, alongside the leg of a massive offshore oil rig. There, under a waxing crescent moon, a canopy of stars, and the blinking lights of nearby rigs, the four men witnessed an explosion that would set into motion the worst environmental disaster in American history and the largest oil spill in the history of the world. Shortly after the explosion, they moved to a safe distance and recorded this video.

Eleven people died that night, and for the next 87 days, more than five million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, ravaging the already fragile coastal ecosystem, poisoning and killing marine life, and nearly crippling Louisiana’s seafood industry.

Four years later, BP still hasn’t paid billions in damages owed to families, businesses, and communities devastated by their negligence. Four years later, oil continues to wash ashore, and four years later, there are reports that suggest people are still getting severely sick due to their exposure to the dispersant BP used to “clean up” the oil. Today, literally today, federal investigators finally released a report on the cause of the spill- the failure of the blowout preventer, a critical piece of safety equipment.

*****

Foster Campbell, a former State Senator who is currently serving on the Public Service Commission, once famously quipped, “The flag of Texaco flies over the Louisiana State Capitol.” Texaco has since merged with Chevron, but as this year’s legislative session proves, Campbell’s joke still works. All you need to do is replace Texaco with BP.

For nearly a century, Louisiana has been involved in a torrid, abusive, and complicated love affair with the oil and gas industry. The industry generates an enormous amount of wealth, provides tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and represents the state’s single-largest economic engine. But it’s also at least partially, if not principally, legally responsible for the destruction and degradation of the state’s coast- the marshland and barrier islands that serve as the first and most critical line of defense against hurricanes.

Continue reading at this link.

 

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2 Responses to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-BP): His not-so-shocking betrayal of Louisiana

  1. Stephen Winham says:

    I was encouraged by Attorney General Caldwell’s interview with Jim Engster on April 25 and by Lamar White’s report based on that interview. Caldwell clearly implied an agreement with the oil companies to put this whole thing to bed was imminent and that there were problems with legislation making it’s way through the session. That interview, and Lamar’s report are the only places I learned anything about the Attorney General’s opinion of the lawsuit and SB 469 before its passage. I now question the timing of that interview vis-à-vis the AG’s encouragement of a gubernatorial veto after the bill passed.

    When confronted with things like this, it is abundantly easy to become a conspiracy theorist. To paraphrase Mr. Briggs, everything about this is fishy, including when the major and valid opposition to SB 469 came to the forefront. Were the people who ultimately raised legitimate concerns lulled into a belief the bill would never pass? Even if there were not adequate hearings and the whole legislative process was orchestrated to ensure passage, there were no muzzles on the people who subsequently argued for veto.

    The potential harm of SB 469 was, as Lamar clearly shows, known by insiders and at least some outsiders before the bill was passed and before the governor signed it. It is a tragedy that it is now law. As I say to people all the time, the current policy of Louisiana’s Governor and Legislature is to do whatever they want to do and if people don’t like it they can spend a ton of money and time suing. As recently as Friday, on the Jim Engster show, Senator Adley gave proof to this when he emphasized his belief anything the legislature enacts is, by its enactment, constitutional and legal and the only redress is in the courts.

    What will happen now is anybody’s guess, but whatever happens is going to cost all of us.

    Like

  2. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Reblogged this on The Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle and commented:
    typical …

    Like

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