Update from Public Workshop On Measure Z Exemptions

A large crowd of Measure Z supporters attended the Monterey County Board of Supervisors' public hearing on July 25, 2017. Many people urged the County to faithfully uphold Measure Z, and not create a permissive process that allows the Oil Industry to push through many exemptions, if any. Others asked for a process that maximizes public input and supports complete transparency.


Notice of Public Workshop On Measure Z


First Reading of the Measure Z Implementation Ordinance - Exemption Procedures

by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors


Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 1:30 PM PDT

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chambers,
County Government Center,
168 West Alisal Street, first floor, in Salinas, California

PLEASE ATTEND. It will help to have a strong turnout to show the Supervisors that Measure Z supporters
are very interested in how they implement Measure Z.

Find a copy of the Public Notice HERE
Find a copy of the Ordinance Draft HERE



Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills sets the

groundwork for Phase 1 courtroom proceedings

On June 7, 2017, the Measure Z legal team and supporters attended a hearing in Superior Court in Monterey, CA to uphold the will of the people in the face of lawsuits by Chevron, Aera Energy & others challenging Measure Z.

Judge Wills consolidated the 6 lawsuits filed by Chevron, Aera Energy (owed by Shell & ExxonMobil), and several other smaller companies.  Judge Wills also requested that a limited set of relevant facts around the case be agreed upon by all parties in order establish a common understanding and agreement of the issues before commencing court proceedings. 

Judge Wills set the schedule for Phase 1. Trial date is November 13, 2017.




Chevron, Aera Energy Sue to Block Monterey County, California’s Voter-Approved Ban on Fracking


Last November, voters of Monterey County, California, passed a fracking ban known as Measure Z with 56 percent of the vote, despite being outspent 30-to-1 by the industry-backed group, Monterey County Citizens for Energy Independence

Passing Measure Z makes Monterey the sixth California county to ban fracking, but the first to face a serious legal challenge. 

In December, Chevron and Aera Energy, the two biggest companies drilling in Central California’s San Ardo fields, both filed lawsuits against Monterey County to block implementation of Measure Z, alleging that it restricts how they can use their property.

The companies were joined by the San Ardo Elementary School District and several individuals who own mineral rights in the oil fields.  Read more HERE.


Monterey County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Tuesday, March 7 at 1:30 PM

Monterey County Government Center - Board Chambers, 168 W. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA

At this very important meeting, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will have one more chance to get in on the ground floor of Monterey Bay Community Power, a tri-county, publicly-run alternative to PG&E that will deliver renewable energy to residents and businesses at the same rate or better.

Each year it will keep more than $8 million in our local economy, which we can use to build wind farms, solar fields, and geothermal plants. If you are a Monterey County resident who cares about reversing climate change and protecting the environment, please attend this meeting and lend your voice in support of MBCP. Tell your supervisors this is their chance to be local environmental heroes! They have THIS rare opportunity to take a leadership role on climate change and foster the clean energy economy in our community!

The stakes are high and the time, absolutely, is now.
Together, let’s keep leading the way toward California’s green energy future.



Measure Z - Community Outreach Meeting

 Wednesday, March 8 at 4 PM - 6 PM

Agricultural Center Conference Room, 1428 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA

An opportunity for members of the public to provide input on the implementation of
Measure Z in Monterey County. Meeting Agenda and additional information will be forthcoming.

Presented By: Monterey County Resource Management Agency.  Download the flyer HERE, and please share.


Please sign an online petition urging your city to support Community Choice Energy (CCE). 

Click on an appropriate link for YOUR CITY and share the links with others:

Del Rey Oaks
City of Monterey
Pacific Grove



Monterey County Supervisors Alejo, Salinas, and Phillips delay 

formation of a regional electrical power aggregation


Posted February 18, 2017

Despite an impressive show of public support and positive editorials in several local newspapers, three members of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors—Luis Alejo, Simon Salinas, and John Phillips—voted to delay joining Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP).   How does this impact formation of the tri-county community choice aggregation?
  • The recent votes by Supervisors Alejo, Salinas & Phillips threaten timely participation in CCE by residents of unincorporated Monterey County. It is also influencing the decision of cities.
  • The MBCP will likely be formed by Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, plus individual Monterey County cities that vote for CCE. Monterey County Supervisors only represent the unincorporated areas of the county. Each city can vote for CCE and independently join the MBCP.
  • Mayor Joe Gunter has contacted the mayors of other cities to encourage them to delay voting on CCE. But this advice works against the interests of most cities because the new MBCP governance model pushed by Mayor Gunter and Sups. Alejo, Salinas & Phillips gives more votes to larger population jurisdictions like Salinas and unincorporated Monterey County, while weakening the vote of smaller cities like Pacific Grove and Carmel. 
  • Delay in voting for CCE would also result in cities missing the deadline. The MBCP needs to form soon to lock in current lower price for renewable energy. The Trump administration solar policies may change future prices.
  • The MBCP will form with or without Monterey jurisdictions. It's important that the cities not miss this opportunity to take part in Monterey Bay region's green energy future.


These Upcoming City Council meetings are critical.  Please attend!

Monterey County Board of Supes: Tue, Mar 7 @1:30PM

Monterey City Council: Tue, Mar 7 @7PM

Pacific Grove City Council:Wed, Mar 15 @6PM

Salinas CIty Council: Tues, Mar 21 @ 4PM

Attend these meetings and check for the latest info, in case of any changes ---> HERE

It is critical to lobby your council members to put the JPA on their city calendars and VOTE NOW!

Email and call, not only yours, but the council members of other cities that are voting on CCE very soon (see list below).

Please contact elected officials right away ---> HERE 

Tell them that your city cannot afford to be left behind.  Delays will jeopordize a tremendous opportunity for Monterey County residents to shift to renewable energy.   Remind them that medium and smaller cities have a greater voice in the current MBCP governance model than in the governance model proposed by Supervisor Alejo, which favors large population cities like Salinas. 

Also attend and speak at the following city council meetings. 


Always check this web site for latest meeting info: http://bit.ly/2lUlr9j


Related Articles:

Monterey County Board of Supervisors divided over future of energy consortium
by ROYAL CALKINS, Monterey Bay Partisan, posted: 02/13/17

Supervisors stick to their guns on Community Power agency governance demands
By JIM JOHNSON, Monterey Herald, posted: 02/14/17

Monterey County supervisors would rather flex muscle than reduce carbon footprint
by ROYAL CALKINS, Monterey Bay Partisan, posted: 02/15/17

Monterey Bay Community Power is a good deal
SOAPBOX By JANE PARKER and STEVE MCSHANE, posted in The Californian: 02/11/17


(click the image for more info about MBCP)




Proponents of Measure Z and members of the general public demand:

  1. that all future proceedings and decision making regarding implementation of Measure Z be conducted in open public session with full disclosure of all proposed implementation procedures and relevant documents and

  2.  that the Board of Supervisors cancel the Stay Order, the secret backdoor deal made with Big Oil to indefinitely block implementation of Measure Z.

DETAILS:Chevron, Shell/ExxonMobil (Aera Energy) and other parties have filed lawsuits against Monterey County seeking to delay and block implementation of Measure Z.  (Chevron et al. v. County of Monterey, No. 16-CV-3978; Aera Energy et al. No. 16-CV-3980.)

On December 12, 2016, the Board of Supervisors, in a closed session entered into a secret agreement with the oil companies suing the County to indefinitely block implementation of Measure Z.  Neither the general public nor PMC were given notice of the intended adoption of this secret agreement or opportunity to observe or have input into the decision to grant Big Oil indefinite immunity from the requirements of Measure Z.  On December 14, 2016, without notice to the public or PMC, attorneys for the County and the oil companies went to court jointly requesting and obtaining a “Stay Order” blocking implementation of Measure Z.

The Stay Order postpones the “effective date” of Measure Z indefinitely (this means that all aspects of Measure Z are blocked in their entirety while the indefinite Stay is in effect, including the bans on fracking, new drilling and toxic wastewater injection).  Without this secret backdoor agreement and Stay Order, Measure Z would have come into full force and effect and immediately applied to all oil producers on December 23, 2016.

The Stay Order grants the oil companies an indefinite right to wholly disregard and freely violate all provisions of Measure Z, giving them a green light to continue dangerous oil production practices unabated including fracking, expanded drilling, and daily dumping of more than 10.3 million gallons of toxic waste into Monterey County’s protected aquifers.

Under the backdoor deal with the oil companies, the Board of Supervisors may adopt implementation procedures allowing the oil companies to apply for and obtain blanket exemptions from Measure Z, possibly in closed sessions unless the Board’s current course of illicit secret proceedings is abandoned in favor of complete transparency as required by law.  The oil companies may gain advantage under secretly adopted procedures to obtain blanket exemptions from Measure Z from the County even before the Measure goes into effect. The current indefinite Stay Order essentially renders Measure Z’s regulatory provisions wholly invalid and unenforceable.  That is why PMC will demand that the Board of Supervisors conduct all future proceedings concerning Measure Z implementation in public session with public input as required by the Brown Act.

Bean_sign.jpgPMC member Beverly Bean said “these secret Star Chamber proceedings indefinitely blocking implementation of Measure Z are an outrageous repudiation of the overwhelming mandate and will of the voters.  When the people’s business is conducted in secret, the people always lose.  The people lost round 1, we do not intend to let that happen again.”  

On behalf of PMC, Dr. Bean, this morning served public records requests on County Administrator Bauman, County Counsel Charles McKee and the Board of Supervisors seeking disclosure of records and information relating to implementation procedures for Measure Z.  California law provides that “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”  Bean said “PMC has repeatedly offered and fully intends to cooperate with and assist the County in vigorously defending Measure Z in court, but it is shameful that the County has instead conspired with the oil companies suing the County to sabotage implementation of Measure Z.




Thanks to everyone who worked so hard for so long to win Measure Z. Now it's time to defend and implement! 

Aera Energy, (jointly owned by Shell Oil Company and ExxonMobil) and Chevron have filed separate lawsuits against Monterey County to halt implementation of Measure Z. They are claiming vested rights and asking for state preemption. Since Measure Z specifically allows current operations to continue, and simply prohibits dumping toxic wastewater into our deep aquifers, we believe it is able to withstand such challenges. It is imperative that we remain strong to protect our water. 

Monterey Becomes First Major Oil-Producing County in California to Ban Fracking

Measure Z - County of Monterey

195/195 100.00%
Vote      Count      Percent
    YES       73,859     56.07%
   NO        57,872      43.93%
    Total     131,731    100.00%

Left to count 1,337 ballots


Cheers.jpgMonterey becomes the seventh California county to ban fracking and the first major oil-producing county to do so. Both the oil industry and citizen groups opposed to fracking have been watching this ballot measure closely. Fracking opponents expect this victory to mark a turning point in California state and national efforts to protect water, land, and the climate from destructive oil operations.

The Protect Monterey County coalition of small businesses, labor unions, teachers, farmers, students, health professionals, and others were outspent by at least 30 to one as oil companies, led by Chevron and Aera Energy, reported spending nearly $5.5 million to defeat the measure. 

Please consider a donation of whatever you are able to afford to help retire the campaign debt. Some volunteers contributed greatly out-of-pocket. Please say Thank You with your contribution.

Please help recycle the signs, they will be used for the next fracking ban initiative by replacing the Z with whatever letter is assigned. Call 831-224-3125 for how to recycle or bring them to the party, (details on the EVENTS page). 

What does Measure Z do?
  • Bans fracking, acidizing, and other risky well stimulation production methods.

Why? The Monterey Shale Formation underlies substantial portions of the County. Oil companies have already used fracking and acidizing in south Monterey County and they view this shale formation as an area for future expansion via fracking and acidizing methods.

  • Bans new, and phases out existing, wastewater injection and wastewater ponds.

Why? The San Ardo oil field produces 328,379 barrels (13.8 million gallons) of toxic wastewater every day. The oil companies reinject 75% of this toxic wastewater back into protected aquifers and treats the remaining third. By phasing out the use of wastewater injection and wastewater ponds over a five-year period, this initiative requires these oil companies to clean all of the toxic wastewater they currently produce.

  • Bans new oil and gas wells within Monterey County.

Why? New drilling relies on new high risk extraction methods, which endanger our water, health, and economy, and greatly increase the potential for earthquakes.

  • This initiative does not prohibit the continuing operation of Monterey County’s 1,500+ existing oil and gas wells. 

No jobs will be lost. In fact, new jobs will be created when the oil companies comply with their responsibility to treat produced wastewater.



Protect Monterey County is a coalition of residents of the Central Coast region working to pass a citizens' initiative to prevent the harmful impacts of extreme oil extraction methods. 

We took action because we had no response from elected officials about the dangers of fracking and other extreme oil recovery methods. 



Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley offices

521 South Main St, Salinas 
(Corner of John St. & Main) 


1340 Munras Ave., Ste. 308


Email us.

Mailing Address:
Protect Monterey County
P.O. Box 1946
Monterey, CA 93942