The oil and gas industry won a significant victory in the Louisiana Legislature Friday with Senate passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.
The lawsuit alleges the companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.
Senators voted 25-11 for the measure that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit. The vote sent the bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is likely to sign it.
Lawsuit supporters say the industry hasn't been held sufficiently accountable for coastal damage. Critics call the lawsuit an attack on a valuable state industry, and they say the levee board had no authority to file the lawsuit.