Judge denies oil company’s request to continue fracking offshore California despite moratorium

A federal judge issued an order last night declaring that the oil company DCOR, LLC cannot proceed with its two proposed permits to conduct fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel at Platform Gilda.  In November 2018, the judge ruled in favor of the Environmental Defense Center and Channelkeeper, prohibiting the Trump Administration from approving the use of well stimulation treatments, including fracking and acidizing, offshore California until required environmental protection processes conclude. Despite that important order, DCOR sought a special exception from the Court to proceed with fracking, alleging that the Court’s order caused it financial harm.  However, the Court denied that request, ruling that the harm to threatened and endangered species from offshore fracking outweighs any monetary harm to the oil company, and upheld its moratorium on these practices.

“The impacts of offshore fracking and acidizing on local wildlife have never been meaningfully analyzed,” said Kira Redmond, Executive Director of SBCK.  “These practices will extend the life of existing oil platforms in a sensitive marine environment which is still recovering from the 2015 Plains All American Pipeline rupture that devastated our coastline.  We need information to understand the potential impacts of these practices so that appropriate measures can be implemented to protect marine life, our coast, our communities, and our economy.”

“There is no reason the oil company DCOR should be allowed to skirt around the Court’s important order that ensures offshore fracking will not harm threatened and endangered species, such as the Southern sea otter and Western snowy plover,” said Maggie Hall, Staff Attorney at EDC.  “We applaud the Court’s decision for recognizing that preventing harm to wildlife trumps the industry’s financial interests.”

Read the full press release here.