An oil company that filed a $1.2 billion claim against a San Benito County drilling ban dropped its lawsuit this week. Shortly after San Benito voters okayed Measure J in November, Newport Beach–based Citadel Exploration alleged that the initiative illegally superseded state law; Measure J bans future fracking, acidizing, and cyclic-steaming wells, existing operations within three years, and all drilling methods in residential areas. Its passage killed the company’s plans for 1,000 new cyclic-steaming wells. Measure J was written by the same law firm that wrote Santa Barbara County’s failed Measure P initiative.


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