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Comm. To Protect Our Agricultural Water v. Occidental Oil and Gas Corp.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20013
Nos. 1:15-cv-01323-DAD-JLT, (E.D. Cal. , 01/20/2017) (Drozd, J. )

A district court dismissed a case alleging racketeering and civil rights violations against state officials and oil companies in connection with illegal increases in oil production to maximize profits and tax revenue and allowing the injection of salt water into fresh water in violation of the SDWA. In 2008, because California oil companies began to increase their use of Class II wells, oil and gas companies began to require more well-drilling permits than were previously needed. In response, the oil and gas companies began contacting government officials in an attempt to streamline the permitting process. The district court found that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege an instance of racketeering, nor did the plaintiffs adequately allege that the defendants coordinated their activities. Further, the plaintiffs did not exhaust all administrative remedies, which was fatal to their civil rights claims.