HA – Hood: Keep possible oil litigation in state

State Attorney General Jim Hood, making a pit-stop on the road to meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in New Orleans, discussed how Mississippi will approach potential litigation against BP and Transocean, the parties in charge of an oil rig that exploded six weeks ago in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We attorneys general want to keep it in state court and not end up before some friendly federal judge that BP or Transocean is trying to pick out in Houston, Texas,” he said.

Hood spoke at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Bennett Auditorium in front of 287 soon-to-be high school seniors selected to be part of the America Legion’s Boys State.

The students are spending a week of leadership training practicing the arts of political campaigning and governance. Events include conducting elections and debating hot-button issues such as the costs and benefits of offshore drilling.

It’s the first time that Southern Miss has hosted Boys State.

Hood blamed BP’s unnecessary cutting of corners for the catastrophe, stating that BP rushed the drilling of the well because it was paying Transocean $1 million daily for use of the rig that exploded. That price tag was more than offset by the $5 billion BP generated during the first quarter of 2009, Hood said.

Hattiesburg American