Posted by @clancygambit on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 12:38 AM

The state board that oversees flood protection for southeast Louisiana will file a massive, historic lawsuit on Wednesday against several hundred oil and gas companies, seeking to make them pay the costs of restoring coastal wetlands that have been lost as a result of energy exploration and development in southeast Louisiana.

Gambit was given an advance copy of the suit, which alleges that a vast network of oil and gas canals carved out of southeast Louisiana’s marshes exposed all of southeast Louisiana to additional flood risks — and much higher costs of flood protection — because the canals, along with related oil and gas activities, caused or accelerated coastal land loss.

The suit will be brought in Civil District Court by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E). It will name more than 100 oil and gas companies as defendants and bring scores of lawyers to the table in an epic legal battle that could go on for years. Among the first anticipated moves by Big Oil will be a motion to “remove” the suit to federal court, where judges and juries are believed by many in the legal community to be more conservative and thus friendlier to Big Oil’s anticipated defenses and procedural moves to quash the suit.

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