Despite frantic warnings from legal experts around the country and from his own attorney general, Louisiana Gov.
What unnerves the experts is that the bill is so sloppily written that it could undermine other lawsuits against oil and gas interests in Louisiana, including damage claims from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The lawsuit had been filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East, an independent board created after
The industry, it charged, had created "a mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction." The cost of restoration has been estimated at $50 billion or more, and the authority was demanding that the oil and gas industry pay its share.
But as my colleague Neela Banerjee reported last month, the political pushback has been ferocious. In the lead has been Jindal, who denounced the lawsuit and supported the bill, which would effectively quash the case. In signing the measure Friday, Jindal said it would "help stop frivolous lawsuits and create a more fair and predictable legal environment."
Not just chumminess is involved. Environmental groups have pointed out that Republican Jindal has received more than $1 million in political donations from the industry. The groups list 231 contributions from oil and gas companies and their executives from 2003 through 2013, totaling $1,019,777.
Federal officials also say they may have to rule on whether the law violates federal laws governing enforcement of coastal regulations.
It's also a blow against efforts to restore the coastline, the degradation of which has made New Orleans and other local communities more vulnerable to storm damage.