426 F.2d 164 (9th Cir. 1970), 25413, Santa Barbara County v. Hickel

Docket Nº:25413, 25414.
Citation:426 F.2d 164
Party Name:COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA, a political subdivision of the State of California, and The City of Santa Barbara, a municipal corporation of the State of California, Appellants, v. Walter J. HICKEL, Secretary of the Interior, United States of America, et al., Appellees. Alvin WEINGAND et al., Appellants, v. Walter J. HICKEL, Secretary of the Interior, Wi
Case Date:April 21, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 164

426 F.2d 164 (9th Cir. 1970)

COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA, a political subdivision of the State of California, and The City of Santa Barbara, a municipal corporation of the State of California, Appellants,

v.

Walter J. HICKEL, Secretary of the Interior, United States of America, et al., Appellees.

Alvin WEINGAND et al., Appellants,

v.

Walter J. HICKEL, Secretary of the Interior, William T. Pecora, Director, United States Geological Survey, D. W. Solanas, Regional Supervisor, Oil and Gas Division, United States Geological Survey, Lee A. Dubridge, Science Advisor to the President of the United States, John S. Steinhart, Office of Science and Technology and Executive Secretary to the Special Panel on the Future of the Union Oil Lease, Gulf Oil Company, Mobil Oil Corporation, Texaco, Inc., Union Oil Co., Appellees.

Nos. 25413, 25414.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

April 21, 1970

Page 165

A. L. Wirin (argued), Fred Okrand, Los Angeles, Cal., George P. Kading, Stanley T. Tomlinson, Marvin Levine, Santa Barbara, Cal., Bruce A. Bevan, Jr. (argued), Los Angeles, Cal., for appellants.

Edmund Clark (argued), Washington, D.C., Philip K. Verleger (argued), Allyn Kreps (argued), Los Angeles, Cal., O'Melveny & Myers, Theodore Robinson, Lawler, Felix & Hall, McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea, Los Angeles, Cal., Ball, Hunt, Hart & Brown, Long Beach, Cal., Musick, Peeler & Garrett, R. W. Curtis, Nossaman, Waters, Scott, Krueger & Riordan; Miles W. Newby, Jr., Los Angeles, Cal., Cahill, Gordon, Sonnett, Reindel & Ohl, New York City, Shiro Kashiwa, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D.C., Wallace E. Sedgwick, of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, San Francisco, Cal., Wm. Mathew Byrne, Jr., U.S. Atty., Los Angeles, Cal., for appellees.

Before HAMLEY and BROWNING, Circuit Judges, and SMITH, District judge. [a1]

HAMLEY, Circuit Judge:

These cases involve oil drilling and production operations in the Santa Barbara Channel. They are before us on appeals taken by the respective plaintiffs from orders, entered in both cases, denying motions for a preliminary injunction.

Page 166

We consolidated the cases for briefing and argument with County of Santa Barbara, et al. v. Malley, et al., 426 F.2d 171, (9th Cir. 1970) in which a separate opinion is being filed today. For convenience we will refer to the three as the Santa Barbara, Weingand and Malley cases. The two cases dealt with in this opinion (the Santa Barbara and Weingand cases) will sometimes be referred to collectively as the Hickel cases.

On April 1, 1968, following competitive bidding, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) awarded leases to the non-Government appellees authorizing them to explore for oil, and to construct and operate oil production facilities, on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Santa Barbara Channel. This was done pursuant to authority vested in the Secretary under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (Act), 43 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq.

On January 28, 1969, there was an oil well blowout in the Santa Barbara Channel under Platform A, a facility constructed and operated by Union Oil Company under a lease awarded to it in the manner described. On February 7, 1969, the Secretary ordered cessation of all oil drilling and production operations in the Channel. Under direction of the President, the Secretary then appointed a panel of experts, popularly known as the DuBridge Panel, to make recommendations to reduce the then extant oil seepage and to minimize the possibility of future oil spills. On May 27, 1969, the panel issued its recommendations. 1

In the meantime, on April 4, 1969, plaintiffs in the Santa Barbara case filed that action, and on June 4, 1969, they filed an amended complaint. Two claims were asserted. In their first claim plaintiffs alleged that in connection with the awarding of leases, the Secretary had exceeded his statutory authority; and that in the construction and operation of facilities thereunder, some or all of the defendants had been negligent and had engaged in extra-hazardous activities without taking precautions required by such activities. In their second claim plaintiffs asserted that 'said Act and the application thereof is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States * * *,' and they requested that the matter be heard before a three-judge court under 28 U.S.C. § 2282. 2

Accordingly, plaintiffs in the Santa Barbara case sought a mandatory injunction which would permanently stop any further offshore drilling operations adjacent to the State of California.

Page 167

They also sought a judicial declaration that the Act is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs in the Weingand case commenced that action on July 10, 1969, and filed an amended complaint on August 11, 1969. Two claims were asserted. In their first claim, plaintiffs alleged that the Government defendants: (1) had refused to make available to plaintiffs and others the data upon which the recommendations of the DuBridge Panel were based; and (2) had refused to accord plaintiffs a hearing on whether the DuBridge recommendations should be effectuated. In their second claim, plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the Act upon essentially the same grounds relied upon by the plaintiffs in Santa Barbara.

Plaintiffs in the Weingand case sought: (1) the convening of a three-judge court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2282 and 2284 to hear and determine the proceedings; (2) a preliminary, and a permanent, injunction restraining the Secretary from approving the DuBridge report and from effectuating the DuBridge recommendations without...

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