Oil Companies Sue to Overturn San Benito County Fracking Ban

In a case that could have wide-ranging implications for the future of fracking in California, a suit has been filed to overturn the ban on the extraction procedure passed by San Benito voters last fall. 

Newport Beach-based Citadel Exploration is attempting to overturn Measure J, approved by 59 percent of San Benito County voters four months ago.

The lawsuit comes as other counties are preparing to go to the polls to vote on fracking in 2016. Among the places considering fracking bans are Santa Clara, Alameda, Monterey and Butte counties, along with Santa Cruz County, whose board of supervisors approved a countywide ban on fracking last spring.

As the Mercury News reported, “Calling Measure J "an illegal local statutory scheme," Citadel said only the state of California can regulate oil and gas drilling.”

“Environmentalists who backed Measure J said they are confident they will win.

"Measure J will withstand any legal challenge," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The oil industry threw everything they had at local fracking bans in New York. They took it all the way up to the highest court in New York and they lost. And the power of local governments in California is greater than in New York."

You can read the Mercury News report here


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