US judge dismisses La. flood board's coastal damage suit against dozens of energy companies

Energy Associated Press

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed in 2013 by a Louisiana flood board that sought damages from scores of oil, gas and pipeline companies over damage to the state's fragile, eroding coast.

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U.S. District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown dismissed the suit Friday evening. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East had claimed in the lawsuit that coastal drilling and dredging activities contributed to the loss of coastal wetlands that form a natural buffer that helps protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

The lawsuit caused a political furor in Louisiana. Gov. Bobby Jindal and oil industry leaders condemned it as an attack on a vital industry. The Legislature passed a bill to kill the lawsuit although a state judge later declared that law unconstitutional, a ruling that was under appeal.