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State court to rule on oil and gas restrictions

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Environmental Law

The recent pandemic has resulted in a dearth of new cases being decided by the California Supreme Court. However, a new series of rulings is set to reestablish its proactive reputation. The Court is set to decide whether or not to impose a new set of restrictions on oil and gas development. This concerns all such development within state borders.

Restrictions may define the future of California energy

Environmental law advocates have long been aggressive in insisting that such measures need to be freshly updated and enforced. They will get their chance to make their most compelling arguments in the upcoming case of Chevron U.S.A. v. County of Monterey.

The source of the conflict can be traced directly back to policies the state has pursued over the past two decades. During this time, the expressly stated aim of many legislators has been to move away from reliance on fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the state still has many laws on its books that favor the growth and development of the fossil fuel industry. The stage is thus set for a battle between environmental activists and advocates for Chevron and other major energy suppliers.

Scrutiny of the energy industry is increasing

Topics such as environmental liability are high on the list for many legislators and voters. These are issues that many oil and gas suppliers have fallen on the wrong side of in recent years.

Chevron is currently leading the charge of the oil and gas industry to curtail such initiatives as Measure Z. This measure was initiated to head off the drilling of new oil and gas wells in Monterey County. Chevron sued to invalidate the measure. The legal wrangling that was promptly ensured is, as yet, ongoing.

The stage is now set for the state Supreme Court to decide the measure. The prospect of a potential rollback of environmental measures has many activists speaking out. At the same time, advocates of oil and gas point out concerns for the future stability of the industry.