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Gulf Oil Corp. v. Morton

Citation: 2 ELR 20450
No. No. 71-1669-FW, 345 F. Supp. 685/4 ERC 1249/(C.D. Cal., 06/21/1972)

The Secretary of the Interior acted ultra vires when he suspended Santa Barbara Channel oil leases, made pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, to allow Congress to consider legislation which would permanently prohibit drilling in the Channel. the Secretary's power to suspend leases is limited by the Act, and his suspension of the oil leases is in direct conflict with the purposes therein. In addition to rescinding the suspension, the court orders the Secretary to grant the previously requested permits for exploratory drilling on the lease sites, and to extend all leases for 32 months to allow for completion of such drilling.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Samuel Pruitt, Jr.
John Endicott
Gibson, Dunn & Krutcher
604 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, Cal. 90014

Counsel for Defendants
Myles Flint
Andrew Walch
Justice Department
Washington, D.C. 20530

William Keller U.S. Attorney
312 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, Cal. 90012

George Kading County Counsel
Marvin Levine
Melbourne Weddle Deputy County Counsels
101 Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, Cal. 92701

A. Barry Cappello City Attorney
City Hall, De La Guerra Plaza
Santa Barbara, Cal. 92701