WRD: Court Approves Injunction Against Tesoro Oil Company

          WRD: Court Approves Injunction Against Tesoro Oil Company

Judge Orders Tesoro to Pay Outstanding Water Bills or Stop Pumping Groundwater

PR Newswire

LAKEWOOD, Calif., April 25, 2013

LAKEWOOD, Calif., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Los Angeles
Superior Court Judge Ralph W. Dau ruled in favor of an injunction against
Texas oil giant, Tesoro Corporation, filed by the Water Replenishment District
of Southern California (WRD). WRD filed the injunction to stop Tesoro from
pumping groundwater because the company has not paid its monthly replenishment
assessment (RA) since May 2012 and owes more than $900,000, funds which are
crucial to WRD's ability to provide safe and reliable water to the public.

(Logo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110121/DC34153LOGO)

Judge Dau's approval of the injunction requires Tesoro to pay within 10-days
its outstanding bills to WRD or discontinue pumping groundwater it uses for
its plant operations.WRD, area groundwater pumpers and ratepayers applaud the
judge's decision as a ruling that protects the long term health of the
region's groundwater basins.

"Today's ruling by Judge Dau is a victory for the district's pumpers and
ratepayers because it upholds a universal principle – you can't get something
for nothing," said Albert Robles, WRD Board President. "Tesoro has
disrespected the stakeholders of this district for nearly one year by refusing
to pay what they owe with rampant disregard to the impact on the public's
groundwater basins."

Tesoro tried to convince the court that a previous ruling by another judge
invalidated WRD's RAs and therefore Tesoro was not obligated to pay the
RA.Judge Dau dismissed this claim by noting:

"Tesoro's argument that rulings by another judge of this court have
established the invalidity of WRD's RAs for the water years 2011-2012 and
2012-2013 is unavailing. Those rulings have not been reduced to final
judgments, and no writs have issued in those proceedings. Tesoro's contention
that in other cases a judge of this court denied the kind of interim relief
sought here by WRD does not help its cause. Those rulings are the subject of
an appeal."

Dau's ruling marks the second legal setback for Tesoro which sued WRD alleging
financial damages. Last month in a ruling from the bench, Judge Robert O'Brien
dismissed claims for damages, pointing out that no "damages" can exist since
Tesoro refused to pay for the groundwater. Both rulings come at a time when
Tesoro is attempting to get California's support for its purchase of BP's oil
refinery in the City of Carson, which would expand Tesoro's groundwater
pumping rights.

"In the end, groundwater pumpers have to uphold their responsibility to the
public to keep our groundwater basins intact by paying their fair share to
refill the water in those basins. The vast majority of pumpers understand this
and have lived up to that commitment," stated Robles. "This court decision
sends a strong message to others who would consider refusing to pay what they
owe," Robles added.

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional
groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and
quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized urban groundwater basins
in the State of California. The service area is home to over ten percent of
California's population residing in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County.
WRD is governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors which includes
Willard H. Murray, Jr., Robert Katherman, Lillian Kawasaki, Sergio Calderon,
and Albert Robles.

For more information, please visit WRD at www.wrd.org

SOURCE Water Replenishment District of Southern California

Website: http://www.wrd.org
 
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