It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. Lawmakers in Louisiana – a state still trying to recover from last year’s catastrophic BP oil spill – are seriously considering legislation that would let BP and other energy companies escape liability for oilfield site restoration. Under the proposed amendments, oil and gas companies would become the only parties in Louisiana able to escape liability for damaging other people’s property.
According to the Louisiana Truth PAC, if HB 563 and its companion bills and amendments pass this Legislative Session, Louisianans will lose their rights to take oil and gas companies to court in order force them to pay for oilfield site restoration. The energy industry has 24 lobbyists working in Baton Rouge right now, and if Louisiana citizens don’t act now, before May 18, they’ll lose valuable constitutional rights.
This legislation would allow oil companies to admit responsibility for pollution remediation without being held “legally responsible.” As a result, landowners would be unable to determine the full extent of the damage and the extent of the defendant’s liability. The legislation would also allow a defendant that admits responsibility to refuse to participate in cleanup. According to Louisiana Truth PAC, under this legislation, even BP might be able to escape liability for Deepwater Horizon oil spill pollution!
Under this legislation, property owners would no longer be able to obtain damages no matter how badly a property is polluted. A Louisiana court would only be empowered to order the polluter to clean up the mess. Landowners would have to spend their own money – likely thousands of dollars – just to obtain such order, which many just don’t have. By giving the energy industry such immunity, Louisiana lawmakers would be giving it a license to pollute.
The Louisiana Truth PAC is urging all Louisiana landowners to contact their state representatives today and tell them to reject HB 563:
Rep. Gordon Dove â€“ Chair (R) – Houma; (985) 876-8823; Larep052@legis.state.la.us
Rep. Karen St. Germain â€“ Vice Chair (D) – Plaquemine (225) 687-6272 (o); Larep060@legis.state.la.us
Rep. Bobby Badon (D) – Carencro; (337) 896-3482; (o) email@example.com
Rep. Robert Billiot (D) – Waggaman; (504) 431-1535 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Henry Burns (R) – Haughton; (318) 949-2463 (o) email@example.com
Rep. Simone Champagne (R) – Jeanerette ; (337) 276-4916 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Franklin Foil (R) – Baton Rouge; (225) 342-6777 (o) email@example.com
Rep. Jerry Gisclair (D) – Larose; (985) 798-7707 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John E. Guinn (R) – Jennings ; (337) 824-0376 (o) email@example.com
Rep. Joe Harrison (R) – Houma; (800) 935-2081 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Reed Henderson (D) – Chalmette; (504) 278-6599 (o) email@example.com
Rep. Sam Jones (D) – Franklin; (337) 828-4100 ext 370 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Eddie Lambert (R) – Gonzales; (225) 644-4947 (o) Larep059@legis.state.la.us
Rep. Sam Little (R) – Bastrop; (318) 556-7026 (o) email@example.com
Rep. Jack Montoucet (D) – Crowley; (337) 783-2999 (o) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jim Morris (R) – Oil City; (318) 995-6852 (o) Larep001@legis.state.la.us
Rep. Patrick Williams (D) – Shreveport; (318) 676-5990 (o) Larep004@legis.state.la.us
The group is also urging Louisianans to contact Governor Bobby Jindal right now, (504) 342-7015, and urge him to oppose this legislation.