Courts to decide whether Measure Z is legal

In a standing-room-only courtroom packed with about 20 attorneys, the first shots were fired Nov. 13 in the trial over Measure Z, a case that is being watched across the country as potentially setting a precedent.

The 2016 countywide ballot initiative – which calls for a ban on fracking, new oil wells and a phaseout of wastewater injection in the county – is being challenged by six sets of plaintiffs, the largest being Chevron and Aera Energy, the two biggest operators in the San Ardo oil field, the eighth most productive oil field in the state.

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