Legacy lawsuit bill breezes through state Senate

The state Senate on Tuesday voted 37-0 for a measure aimed at clarifying the responsibility of oil and gas firms for cleaning up lands they leased.

The proposal, Senate Bill 667, next faces action in the House.

Under the initial version, the legislation required landowners to prove that the oil firm acted unreasonably and excessively before collecting additional damages.

However, an amendment was added in committee that would allow the 300 or so pending lawsuits to continue despite objections from state Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton and sponsor of the measure.

Adley told the Senate he still thinks the bill should be retroactive but opted to sidestep a debate on that topic on the Senate floor.

He said that will allow the bill to be “massaged and compromised and people work through their problems. That is what I am seeking to do.”