Al Williams

Al Williams

Chevron has operated in Monterey County for over 70 years, and in Fresno and Kern counties for over 100 years. For our Chevron family and yours, we spend considerable time and effort conducting our operations in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements.

Chevron looks forward to continuing to invest in our communities and building upon our legacy as a safe and responsible operator for many years to come.

There is no doubt that anti-oil activist groups will continue to sponsor and fund costly ballot initiatives, like Monterey County’s Measure Z, simply to shut down oil and gas operations. They have no evidence of contamination from oil operations, but use misleading information and fear tactics to persuade voters otherwise.

This is unfortunate for all of us because these initiatives hurt our communities with lost local jobs for our families and neighbors whose jobs and small businesses are supported by the oil industry, and they ultimately lead to lost tax dollars to fund our schools, police and fire departments, and other critical services that help our communities.

Impacted parties are entitled to protect their legal rights.

Measure Z’s ban on new drilling and the phase-out of underground injection would result in the shutdown of oil operations in Monterey County. In this light, Chevron, along with a coalition of oil producers, service companies, individuals, royalty owners, and the local school district, brought legal challenges to protect our rights.

The Monterey County court struck down Measure Z’s prohibitions on new drilling and underground injection.

The court reasoned that these prohibitions in Measure Z were at odds with fundamental constitutional principles. Simply put, a local county cannot act in conflict with the policies and the laws of the federal and state governments. The federal and state governments have crafted policies to encourage the continued production of oil, so long as it is done in a safe and environmentally protective way. In fact, California regulations impose the strictest set of testing and operational requirements in the country. Local ballot measures, such as Measure Z, disrupt these policies.

The decision on hydraulic fracturing Is saved for another day.

The Monterey County court did not uphold Measure Z’s ban on well stimulation treatments, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Instead, the court determined that it did not have to answer the question on fracking because no party had standing to challenge that provision of Measure Z.

The court reached this conclusion based on one reason that underscores the misleading nature of the entire Measure Z campaign — there is no fracking in Monterey County because fracking is not needed to produce oil from the oil-bearing underground formations that are located within that county.

So where are we now?

We are back where we started. Chevron will continue to be a safe and responsible oil operator and invest in Monterey, Fresno, Kern and surrounding counties to develop the energy that improves lives and powers our state and the world forward.

Al Williams is vice president of Chevron USA Inc., San Joaquin Valley Business Unit, based in Bakersfield. The opinions expressed are his own.

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