Excelaron Loses oil exploration appeal

July 25, 2014

hausnaExcelaron lost its appeal of a local judge’s ruling that its $6.24 billion suit could be dismissed because it was not served on the defendant within a 90-day deadline.

In its suit, Excelaron, argued that San Luis Obispo County officials should not be able to have a lawsuit dismissed after their staff provided deceptive information in an apparent attempt to mislead the plaintiff. Excelaron’s attorney Sophia Treder also said the county effected a regulatory taking of Excelaron’s property and failed to follow laws that require just compensation for that taking.

However, the appellate judges determined the time limit for filing was reason for dismissal. In addition, the appellate court ruled the county would be able to recover its court costs.

The proposed drilling site, the Mankins Ranch, is zoned for agricultural use, and under San Luis Obispo County’s Land Use Ordinance, “petroleum extraction is allowed… subject to permit.” That law established development standards for oil projects in the county.

In August 2012, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted to deny an appeal of a planning commission rejection of the project based on the contention that oil production is incompatible with the character of the Huasna Valley.

In August, two days after the Board of Supervisors rejected the project, the county sent a letter to Exceleron explaining the rules regarding a possible appeal. In the letter, Senior Planner John McKenzie wrote that an appeal by Excelaron would fall under a code section which does not require the county to be served within 90 days.

Excelaron filed its initial complaint on Nov. 19, but did not serve the county at that time. The oil company amended its petition and served the county with the lawsuit on Dec. 28, well after the 90 days required by law to file and serve a complaint.


4 Comments

  1. choprzrul says:

    I would rather watch 20 oil tankers roll by my front door every day than see 1 funeral procession for a soldier who died in the sand box helping to pursue our middle east agenda.

    Say what you will about fracking, off shore drilling, refineries, etc as I fully support your right to do so. But understand, I am sick of seeing our young men and women getting sent through the meat grinder and coming out maimed, broken, or dead. I will gladly sacrifice some environmental pristineness in exchange for their lives & health.

    Excelaron will appeal up the chain of courts until they find a sympathetic one. In the mean time, my taxes are being spent for lawyers to fight all of these appeals. So, rather than the county gaining from letting Exceleron produce oil, we are now experiencing losses. Losses that could become massive should Exceleron prevail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  2. MaryMalone says:

    The County Board of Supervisors needs to grow a collective spine and pass a ban on new wells, or accessing oil through old wells by fracking.

    We don’t have the water for it, PERIOD. In addition, the risk of contamination of local aquifers puts what little groundwater we have at risk. Fracking often contaminates local drinking water sources and also groundwater basins, wetlands, creeks, and other aquatic habitats.

    A great deal of water is necessary for fracking operations, and none of it can be recycled or reused. In fact, no one is allowed to know exactly what goes into the fracking fluid…although we do know that almost every fracked well has at least benzene, in addition to the other 400+ harmful chemicals in fracking fluid.

    The water demands of the fracking process are adding considerably to localized water depletion, especially in parts of Texas, Colorado and California. Nearly half of the fracking wells in operation since 2011 are located in regions with high or extremely high water stress. Competition for water between cities, farms and industries is already tight in those water-stressed areas, posing risks of supply disruptions during times of drought.

    So more definitive steps need to be taken by the SLO County BOS to address the threat of more oil drilling and fracking. Stopping the petition to sink another well by a legal formality does not address the more widespread risk presented by oil drilling, including fracking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

  3. hijinks says:

    What part of “NO” doesn’t Excelaron get? Hopefully, this sets the whole thing to rest. It should never have gone this far.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 12

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