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General News    H3'ed 2/2/11

Will the GOP Help BP Get Away With a Fast One on the Alabama Coast?

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Message Roger Shuler


Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

Was it smart for Alabama to elect a Republican attorney general with ties to the petroleum industry--just months after the BP oil spill?

Probably not.

Luther Strange has been in office less than a month, and he already is showing signs that he will try to limit Big Oil's damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Folks who know about Strange's ties to the Birmingham law firm of Bradley Arant Boult and Cummings will not be surprised that he might take questionable actions that stand to favor corporate interests.

Strange's first curious move came last week when he announced that he has dismissed private attorneys brought in by predecessor Troy King to handle lawsuits connected to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Strange will head up the litigation himself.

Why is this troubling? An article from Reuters Legal spells it out:

The case has posed a sensitive political issue for Strange. In the 2010 primary, King seized on Strange's previous work as an oil industry lobbyist, which he argued would impede Strange's ability to take on BP. In particular, Strange was registered to represent Transocean Offshore Drilling . . . on matters related to offshore drilling for six months in 1998, federal records show. Transocean's successor company owned the Deepwater rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
 
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