October 19, 2022
|Sean Hecht, Gabriel Greif
On October 19, 2022, as part of the Frank G. Wells Clinic in Environmental, clinic co-director Sean Hecht and Emmett/Frankel Fellow Gabriel Greif filed a brief in the California Supreme Court supporting local government authority to limit specific oil and gas extraction-related land uses. The people of the County of Monterey enacted a County General Plan provision, by voter initiative, limiting these land uses. Businesses engaged in oil extraction activities challenged the law, asserting that California state law preempts this local regulation. The Clinic’s brief argues that the law is valid, citing over a century of court decisions upholding local government regulation determining where and whether oil and gas operations may take place, in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The brief was filed on behalf of clients League of California Cities, California Association of Counties, and the County of Los Angeles.