Oil group sues Caldwell over industry lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An oil and gas association has filed a lawsuit against Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, claiming he illegally approved a New Orleans flood protection board's contract with lawyers suing the industry over coastal wetlands loss.

The lawsuit on behalf of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East was filed in July. Now, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has asked a state court in Baton Rouge to declare that Caldwell's approval of the contract was invalid.

Caldwell has said his office's role was to review the contract, make sure the lawyers are qualified to practice in Louisiana and that fees charged are "within the parameters normally paid by Louisiana agencies under similar circumstances."  In a July letter to the board, he said they were.

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