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Fracking Ban Appeal Decision

A court ruling Thursday a victory for anti-frackers and a blow to those hoping the drilling process comes to New York State.

A New York appellate court Thursday unanimously agreed with a lower-court ruling which upheld gas-drilling bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

The attorney for the Middlefield farmer who challenged the ban says he's readying to bring the case to the state court of appeals the highest court in New York State.

"We can't have an effective energy policy in New York if every single town is allowed to decide whether this should happen in New York or not. Towns, town boards, town Supervisors, they're getting put in an awful position right now," said attorney Scott Kurkoski of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

"What this will do is give communities the ability to think about what kinds of community character they want to have, what kind of land uses are important to them, whether fracking fits into that vision," said Kate Sinding, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Fund, which filed an amicus brief with the court on the case.

Kurkoski says this ruling is unrelated to his efforts to sue New York, claiming the state's ongoing moratorium on gas drilling is a de facto taking of landowners mineral rights.

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