Latest attempt to kill O&G suits runs out of time

Last week Louisiana’s House Natural Resources Committee passed the latest attempt by state legislators to wrest control of lawsuits brought by coastal parishes, including Plaquemines and St. Bernard, against oil and gas companies. But the clock ran out on the bill when it was sent to the House Appropriations Committee, due to fiscal concerns, as the 2020 Regular Legisla tive Session drew to a close on June 1.

Senate Bill 440 would have limited parishes to receiving just 25 percent of any settlement for coastal permit violations “of state concern,” while 75 percent of the money goes to the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund. Settlements for permit violations “of local concern” would see 100 percent of monies deposited with parishes “in which the adverse impact is located.”

SB 440 gained traction after SB 359, which would have taken the power to sue away from local parishes and consolidated it with the state, failed to garner senate support on its own the previous week. However, language from SB 359 making the state an intervenor in any suits was amended into 440.



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