Red River Radio: Judge Rules Public Records Laws Not Applicable To Private Pipeline Company

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By Chuck Smith

PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT — A judge has rejected an environmental groups' claim that Louisiana's public record law applies to a private, for-profit company building a 163-mile-long crude oil pipeline which is planned to run from Lake Charles to St. James in South Louisiana.  Opponents of the pipeline..stood outside the Baton Rouge courthouse during proceedings… Ann Rolfes a member of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a group that is party to the lawsuit told public radio’s WRKF why they wanted the company to open its files:“They are using the power of the state in claiming eminent domain,” she said of Bayou Bridge, which is a joint project of Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66. “They are assuming a state function, therefore they should be subject to the rules that the state is subject to. They are subject to public records laws, so we want the information.” However,  State District Court Judge Michael Caldwell said Thursday that he sees no basis for ruling that Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC is acting as "an instrumentality of the state"  by taking or expropriating more than 400 parcels of private property for the pipeline project.

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