Help Defend Measure Z

David beat Goliath on November 8, 2016 when 73,877 Monterey County voters passed Measure Z -- the first citizens' initiative to ban fracking and limit risky oil operations in a major oil producing county of California. Big Oil spent $5.6 million to oppose Measure Z. Despite being outspent 18 to 1, our grassroots campaign won with 56% of the votes. But the fight isn't over. After the election, Chevron, Aera Energy (owned by ExxonMobil & Shell), and others filed lawsuits challenging Measure Z. Key parts of Measure Z were overturned by the trial court on December 28, 2017. We are appealing the decision because we’re confident that a higher court will uphold Measure Z in full and affirm our right to protect our county from risky oil operations. Help defend the right of all communities to protect their water, health and future... Please donate to the Measure Z legal defense fund!

Our Goals

Defend Z

We will help Monterey County vigorously defend Measure Z in the courts by bringing a strong legal team to intervene in the lawsuits.

Implement Z

We'll ensure that Measure Z is faithfully implemented by Monterey County and the will of the voters is upheld.

Bright Future

Monterey County has a bright future if we protect our water, health and economy. We support projects like Community Choice Energy which move our community to a sustainable future.

Why Monterey County Passed Measure Z

(click on arrow above to view video)


Aug. 3, 2023 -- CA Supreme Court Rules on Z

The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Measure Z proponents.

Oct. 12, 2021 -- Court of Appeals Rules on Z

6th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Big Oil. Measure Z proponents will appeal decision.

Frequently asked questions


What's Measure Z?

Measure Z is a Monterey County citizen's initiative, placed on the ballot by volunteers who collected over 16,000 signatures. It bans fracking and limits other risky oil operations in the county. Measure Z passed on November 8, 2016 with 56% of the vote. Read more about the initiative at the "Measure Z" tab.


What is the oil industry’s response?

After the election, Chevron, Aera Energy (owned by ExxonMobil and Shell), and other oil interests filed 6 lawsuits challenging Measure Z. Phase 1 of the Measure Z trial begins on November 13, 2017 at Monterey County Superior Court.


What's Protect Monterey County's role?

After helping to pass Measure Z, Protect Monterey County (PMC) now works to ensure that the voters’ decision is honored. PMC has assembled a strong legal team to intervene in the lawsuits and assist the County with Measure Z legal defense. PMC will also work with the County to ensure that Measure Z is fully implemented.



Since the oil industry is challenging the legality of Measure Z, its full implementation has been delayed. (Only the Measure Z exemption procedures are currently allowed to be implemented.) We’ll know more after the judge renders a decision in the Measure Z trial.


WHAT’s the status of aquifer exemptions?

Local oil companies have applied to the state (DOGGR) for exemptions that allow them to continue injecting wastewater into our protected aquifers -- a practice which endangers Monterey County’s groundwater and our premier agricultural and tourism industries. Members of PMC submitted public comments objecting to these exemptions. We are awaiting a final decision by DOGGR and U.S. EPA.



Attend public hearings and rallies posted under "Events" and help keep our government officials accountable. Donate to the Measure Z legal defense fund. The oil industry has millions to spend, while we rely on supporters like you.

Please Donate!

How to donate

Make a secure donation by clicking the "Donate" button on the right... Or mail a check to P.O. Box 1946, Monterey, CA 93942. (Make check payable to “Protect Monterey County".) Donations to Protect Monterey County are not tax deductable. However, Protect Monterey County is an all-volunteer, nonprofit group and every penny of your donation will go to legal and related expenses.

contact information

  • Address

    Protect Monterey County P.O. Box 1946 Monterey, CA 93942

  • Phone


  • Email