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2017 Press Releases

San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors Denies Phillips 66’s Oil Trains Project

The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors today voted to reject Phillips 66’s proposed oil train offloading terminal. The project was denied with a 3-1 vote, with one supervisor recusing himself in a conflict of interest.

Phillips 66 had appealed the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission decision to reject their controversial oil train project last October, which came after a nearly three-year review process. More than 25,000 Californians have opposed the project in comments and petitions, and more than 45 cities, counties, and school boards have sent letters urging the County to deny the crude-by-rail proposal.

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Federal Court Approves U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Termination of “No-Otter Zone”

In a major victory for threatened southern sea otters, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee on Friday issued a ruling denying a challenge by commercial fishing organizations to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decision that has restored protections for sea otters in Southern California.  EDC, The Otter Project and Los Angeles Waterkeeper intervened in the case on behalf of the FWS.

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Lieutenant Governor Newsom Sounds Death Knell for New Offshore Oil Drilling Proposal 

An oil company’s quest to increase oil drilling in California’s state waters was dealt a significant blow at this week’s State Lands Commission meeting. Venoco, which operates the only oil drilling platform in state waters, has proposed to expand its existing leases offshore the city of Goleta, near Santa Barbara. If approved, the South Ellwood project would constitute the first new or expanded lease in state waters since the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. But after listening to public testimony decrying the proposal, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom responded, “That project’s dead.”

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Environmental Groups Join Lawsuit to Defend Denial of Phillips 66 Oil Train Project

Six environmental groups were granted permission today to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Phillips 66, challenging the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission’s denial of the company’s proposal to construct a crude oil train terminal in Nipomo. The Planning Commission denied the project in October, following nearly a year of hearings in which communities throughout the State raised concerns about public safety and environmental harm. Intervention by the groups (Sierra Club, Communities for a Better Environment, Environmental Defense Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Surfrider Foundation, and Stand.earth) will give voice to the more than 20,000 Californians who opposed the project.

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