Process for handling 'legacy lawsuits' to change

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Posted: May 20, 2014 6:17 PM by Melinda Deslatte
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: legacy lawsuits, environmental damage, oil fields, robert adley

BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers have reworked state laws governing disputes over how to handle the clean-up of environmental damage done in drilling years ago.

Final legislative passage came Tuesday with a 27-12 Senate vote, over the objections of senators who said it was inappropriate to make the new rules retroactively apply to cover hundreds of long-running lawsuits.

Sen. Robert Adley's bill changes the complex legal process for dealing with "legacy lawsuits" that seek damage awards for the damage. Oil and gas companies claim the lawsuits inhibit energy exploration.

Adley, a Republican from Benton, says his bill addresses confusion between the civil code and the mineral code and responds to recent court rulings.

Sen. Jody Amedee, a Republican from Gonzales, voted against the measure, saying it favors the oil and gas industry over landowners.

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