Settlement Of Coastal Oil Suits? Industry Groups Say No

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A business lobbying group and oil industry organizations are publicly denying speculation that energy companies are negotiating with public officials to settle lawsuits over damage to Louisiana's coast.

         The statement comes from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.

         It notes that Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry have moved to intervene in lawsuits filed by three coastal parishes seeking compensation for alleged state permit violations, coastal damage and pollution.

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         The industry groups said Friday that Louisiana's intervention does not mean settlement talks are happening.

         Edwards has said the state wants to make sure it is involved so it will get money if the parishes' lawsuits succeed.

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