Description: Challenge to the denial of a permit that would allow Exxon to temporarily truck crude oil from Exxon’s Santa Ynez Unit, consisting of three offshore platforms and an onshore processing center.
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/11/2022 Petition Download Verified petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory relief and damages filed. Exxon Challenged Denial of Permit for Trucking Oil from Off Coast of Santa Barbara County. In a lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the Central District of California, Exxon Mobil Corporation challenged the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ denial of a permit that would allow Exxon to temporarily truck crude oil from Exxon’s Santa Ynez Unit, which the complaint described as consisting of three offshore platforms and an onshore processing center. Exxon alleged that the permit would allow it to restart operations at the Santa Ynez Unit, which was forced to shut down operations after two pipelines ruptured in 2015. Exxon asserted that denial of the permit was based on “reasons completely unrelated to its merits” and “deprive[d] consumers of a local, lower-carbon-intensive, and more heavily regulated energy source than the foreign-produced oil and gas that must now satisfy consumer demand” because the Santa Ynez Unit’s oil “has less than half the carbon intensity of oil imported from overseas.” Exxon further alleged that Board comments regarding the transition to renewable energy and climate change risks showed that the Board had improperly turned its consideration of the project “into a referendum on the production, transportation, and use of oil in and off the coast of Santa Barbara County.” Exxon asserted that denial of the permit was arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful and that the Board had disregarded limits on review imposed by the California Environmental Quality Act. Exxon also asserted that the denial was an unconstitutional taking, violated the Commerce Clause, violated the California Constitution, and was an invalid exercise of police power.