Senate panel backs bill to derail coastal lawsuit

BATON ROUGE, LA (AP) - Another bill pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to undermine a lawsuit filed by a south Louisiana flood protection board against oil and gas companies has started advancing in the Senate.
The proposal by Republican Sen. Bret Allain, of Franklin, won support Thursday from the Senate Natural Resources Committee without objection. It moves to the full Senate.
The bill strikes at the lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East alleging that drilling activities of 97 oil and gas companies damaged Louisiana's vulnerable wetlands.
Allain's proposal would define which governmental entities can bring legal claims about management of Louisiana's coastal zones. The levee boards aren't on the list.
While the bill wouldn't void the lawsuit, it could offer a legal argument for someone seeking to have it thrown out.

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