Will Gas Drilling Bans End Up in Court?
6/19/2012 (Updated 7:08:29 PM)Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan was part of Tuesday's anti-fracking rally.
He was also part of a contingent of leaders who went to Albany Monday representing municipalities that have enacted a fracking ban.
Ryan says that attorney Scott Kurkoski of the New York Joint Landowners Coalition has sent a letter to local leaders meant to scare them into thinking gas drilling bans will lead to costly legal action.
Kurkoski says while state courts have thus far upheld bans in Dryden and Middlefield, mineral rights are a constitutional issue.
"They shouldn't be afraid of this. They should consult if they want to discuss a ban. There has been some movement on the pro-fracking forces to kind of intimidate towns, villages, and cities into thinking they're going to get sued," said Mayor Matt Ryan.
"Under the Constitution of the United States, if you take away somebody's property rights they have to be compensated. And that's going to be the next phase of this. So every town that decides to issue a ban is putting themselves at risk for a claim. And they'll have to compensate the landowners for the value of what they take away from the landowner," said Scott Kurkoski of New York Joint Landowners Coalition.
Kurkoski says he thinks Governor Cuomo's office will begin allowing fracking permits by the end of the summer.
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