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A Major Legal Victory in California
December 28 began as just another unremarkable day in the trough between Christmas and New Year’s, but became notable with the release of Monterey County Judge Thomas Wills’ 51-page Statement of Intended Decision in the legal challenge of Monterey County’s Measure Z, a voter-approved initiative which would have resulted in the cessation of oil production in the rich San Ardo oilfield. With a final keystroke, Judge Wills’ decision was posted and the rights of Monterey County operators and royalty owners to produce their petroleum resources were restored.
Unwilling to accept the unwarranted taking of their rights to produce their petroleum resources, San Ardo area royalty owners, together with NARO-California and producers filed a number of lawsuits challenging the measure. Producers Chevron USA, Aera Energy (a partnership between Exxon Mobil and Shell), California Resources Corporation, Eagle Petroleum and Trio Petroleum all filed separate actions.
In March of 2017 NARO-California joined the fray as lead plaintiff in the matter of NARO-CA, et al v. County of Monterey. Joining NARO-California in this action were over 80 Monterey County royalty owners who participated as additional named plaintiffs in the lawsuit. NARO-California Vice-President and noted petroleum attorney Edward Renwick, Esq. acted as our lead counsel with Monterey County attorney Jacqueline Zischke doing a stellar job as our local co-counsel in this case. NARO-California Board President Ed Hazard participated in the action, appearing and monitoring each day of the proceedings in support of the rights of all NARO-California members and this state’s mineral interest owners at large. Walt Duflock, NARO-California....
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