A U.S. decide on Wednesday refused to overturn a California county’s determination to dam Exxon Mobil Corp from utilizing tanker vans to ship crude oil from coastal amenities to inland refineries whereas a ruptured pipeline is fastened.

U.S. District Decide Dolly Gee in Los Angeles denied Exxon’s bid to reverse the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ denial of a trucking allow in early 2022, saying the board’s determination was considerably supported by proof that transporting crude oil by tanker vans might current security considerations on state highways.

Gee dominated that whereas Exxon has a proper to function its offshore oil platforms and associated infrastructure within the space, it doesn’t have a vested or basic proper to make use of vans to move its crude whereas the pipeline system is fastened.

Exxon has claimed it wants to make use of dozens of tanker vans a day to ship oil via Santa Barbara County till a pipeline that burst close to Santa Barbara in 2015, creating one of many worst oil spills within the area in a long time, might be changed. The corporate has mentioned vans are “important” to restarting three offshore oil platforms and an onshore oil processing facility which were shuttered because the spill.

Representatives for Exxon and the county didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Gee’s determination didn’t tackle Exxon’s claims that the board’s determination amounted to an unconstitutional taking of the corporate’s property and different constitutional claims. These claims are set to be thought-about subsequent by the court docket.

The choice was applauded by environmental teams that had intervened within the lawsuit supporting the county’s determination, together with the Sierra Membership and native organizations. 

Legal professional Linda Kropp, who represented a number of of these teams, mentioned Exxon’s trucking plan is “reckless, harmful and completely unwelcome” and mentioned it places the neighborhood vulnerable to oil tanker crashes.

Exxon had sued in Could 2022, alleging the board’s denial was a “prejudicial abuse of discretion.” It mentioned the board’s majority had primarily made up its thoughts to reject the appliance quite than deciding the problem on its deserves, leading to a “de facto ban on crude oil manufacturing and transportation.”

The corporate additionally claimed it has a proper to restart the oil manufacturing because it had invested important assets within the space because the Seventies.

When Exxon first halted offshore manufacturing from its three Santa Barbara-area platforms, output from these rigs was estimated at 30,000 barrels a day (bpd), a fraction of California’s each day crude weight loss program of some 1.7 million bpd on the time.

 (Reuters – Reporting by Clark Mindock, Enhancing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Chris Reese)