Bobby Jindal Wants to Kill Louisiana’s Big Oil Lawsuit

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R).Erik Lesser/ZumaPress.com

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In July, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East, a regulatory board that was reformatted after Hurricane Katrina to shore up the state’s flood defenses, filed a lawsuit against about 100 oil and petrochemical companies alleging a systematic destruction of the state’s wetlands and coast. The backlash was swift—and not just from the oil industry. Garret Graves, the head of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, dismissed the suit as the work of an overzealous trial lawyer. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) demanded that the levee board withdraw its suit. And now Jindal has gone one step further—asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Here’s the Baton Rouge Advocate:

“We have asked the (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority) to look into intervening to make sure the courts understand this suit is not authorized, that the levee board did not have the legal authority to do this,” Jindal said.

The crux of the legal dispute arises from administration claims that the permission of the governor and attorney general is required before the board can hire special counsel, as they did to prepare and pursue the lawsuit. The board, however, argues they are bound by a different set of requirements that only call for the attorney general to sign off on lawsuits.

The levee board has taken on a more activist role since Hurricane Katrina, in part due to the work of its secretary John Barry, whose history of the 1927 Flood has become required reading in South Louisiana. But the lawsuit represents the board’s most dramatic step yet, and the first real showdown with authorities in Baton Rouge.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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