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State Lands Comm'n Sues LB City Hall, Says $70 Million In Oil Revenue Being Retained By LB Belongs To State of CA
(April 8, 2003) -- LBReport.com has learned that the State Lands Commission is suing the City of Long Beach, alleging that City Hall has retained about $70 million in oil revenues that would otherwise be forwarded to the State of CA.
In response to a query from LBReport.com, State Lands Commission Executive Director Paul Thayer emailed us:
The Commission filed a lawsuit last week regarding the retention by the City of Long Beach of oil revenues that would otherwise have been forwarded to the state from Long Beach oil operations. The City has deposited this money in an abandonment fund that it has established in anticipation of the cost of abandoning the oil field in Long Beach when operations cease. The amount of money in the fund has reached about $70 million. The Commission and the Attorney General's Office do not believe the City has the authority to do this.
LB City Attorney Bob Shannon commented for LBReport.com:
"The city as a [tidelands] trustee is reserving these funds consistent with its contract with the state and consistent with good accounting practices in contemplation of the time at some point in the future when a substantial cost will have to be incurred to close the field.