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ExxonMobil drops lawsuit against Santa Barbara County over denial of oil trucking permit Thursday

U. S. District Court Central District of California

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – ExxonMobil has dropped a lawsuit challenging Santa Barbara County's denial of the company's plan to truck oil from its off-shore platforms on Thursday.

According to a response to inquiries from your News Channel, Lauren Knight with ExxonMobil Media Relations issued the following statement:

"ExxonMobil completed the sale of its Santa Ynez Unit and associated assets in California with Sable Offshore Corp. The assets include 114 wells, three offshore platforms and onshore oil and gas processing facilities at Las Flores Canyon, as well as shares in the Pacific Offshore Pipeline Company and Pacific Pipeline Company. As a result, ExxonMobil is dismissing its claim against Santa Barbara County regarding its interim temporary trucking project."

Below is information provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from an investor presentation by Sable Offshore ahead of their merger with Flame Acquisition Corp. as well as the purchase of those facilities mentioned in the quote above.

The notice of intent to dismiss was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Thursday and was initially filed on May 11 of 2022 after the County Board of Supervisors voted three to two to deny the energy corporation's request in March of the same year.

The Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court for the Central District of California upheld the county's decision in September of 2023, but, notably, did not rule on all the claims brought in the case detail the Environmental Defense Center, a named party and representative of other named parties in the suit.

“Santa Barbara hosts some of the most spectacular coastlines and natural coastal resources in our country,” said Angela Howe, senior legal director for the Surfrider Foundation, one of the organizations named in the suit. “This dismissal affirms the action of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, protecting the area from the additional risks of oil spills, traffic accidents, as well as air and water pollution from ExxonMobil’s dangerous project to transport crude oil through this sensitive region.”

The permit submitted to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, entitled Interim Trucking for Santa Ynez Phased Restart Project, was intended to allow ExxonMobil to temporarily truck crude oil across portions of the county for up to seven years or until a pipeline became available.

“ExxonMobil’s plan to restart its offshore platforms and truck millions of gallons per week through Santa Barbara County was reckless, dangerous and totally unwelcome by this community,” said Linda Krop, chief counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, which represents Get Oil Out!, Santa Barbara County Action Network, Surfrider Foundation, and the Sierra Club. "Recent oil tanker truck accidents and offshore oil spills show just how dangerous this plan was. Our research revealed that there have been eight serious accidents involving tanker trucks along the proposed route in the last several years, resulting in deaths, oil spills, injuries, fires, and road closures."

The image featured below is from the same investor presentation mentioned above and provided to the SEC that details Sable Offshore Corp.'s intentions.

For more information about the history of offshore oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel since 1968, check out his instructional slide from Sable Offshore Corp.'s investor presentation.

Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
energy production
environment and energy
offshore oil platforms
Sable Offshore
Santa Barbara County board of supervisors

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Andrew Gillies

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