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Oil company drops controversial plan to ship oil by truck from Santa Barbara County oil platforms

Sobhith Ullas

Santa Barbara County had rejected ExxonMobil proposal, but the oil company challenged the decision in court.

An oil company dropped a controversial plan to use oil tanker trucks to help restart, and ship oil from some shut down oil platforms off the Santa Barbara County Coast.

Three ExxonMobil platforms have been in mothballs since a 2015 oil pipeline rupture on the Gaviota Coast. That pipeline was used to ship oil from the platform to refineries. Getting a new or rebuilt pipeline operating could take years.

ExxonMobil sought to use tanker trucks to ship oil in the interim. It would have moved millions of gallons of oil a week by truck on Highway 101 and 166 to refineries.

But, Santa Barbara County denied the trucking plan, citing concerns about tanker truck accidents which might cause spills.

The oil company challenged the decision in court. The county won a preliminary ruling, but environmental groups say ExxonMobil just dropped its appeal efforts, ending the legal battle.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.