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Jul 07, 2010


David Marcello

HCR 208 called upon BP to implement a transparency agenda by making public any data the oil company collected that might help researchers estimate the size of the spill and devise strategies for containing it. HCR 208 was directed at disclosure of data controlled by the company, not by public officials, so it was separate and distinct from other measures in the 2010 legislative session that would have required the Governor's Office and other public officials to be more transparent.

For example, HB 37 would have required that any BP oil spill records maintained in the Governor's Office or any other executive branch agency must be made available for inspection or copying and that the records must be preserved for at least ten years. Governor Jindal vetoed the bill. You can read the bill (and the Governor's veto message) through Louisiana's legislative website at http://www.legis.state.la.us/.

Interested readers can also view SB 593, which would have established a general presumption of openness with regard to records in the Governor's Office, requiring an express exemption to deny disclosure of certain records. SB 593 would have required that records be preserved and that they be delivered to state archives at the conclusion of a Governor's term. The bill emerged from committee with amendments but failed to secure passage on the floor of the Senate.

These contests between the Legislature and the Governor over transparency have been raging for a couple of sessions and seem likely to resume when the Legislature next convenes in April 2011.


BP could have used explosives to shut down that polluting oil well months ago if they gave a damn about the environment. The Russians said so when the explosion happened and they have decades more experience with these deep wells than we do. The fact that we are waiting until August for other wells to be drilled is a prime example of how this country is run by multi-national corporations and little more than lip service is given to voters.

Bryan Rahija

Hi Paul, thanks for your comment -- are you referring to this piece of legislation?

Paul P.

I had heard (last week?) that Gov. Jindal vetoed legislation that required transparency on the part of the governor's office. Is this the same legislation? If it is, and it has unanimous approval in the house, then could they overturn the veto?

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