Courts Consider Fracking Ban Appeals
3/25/2013 (Updated 11:03:50 PM)The New York State Supreme Court has upheld bans enacted by the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, however, both decisions were appealed last week.
Norse Energy is suing Dryden over the ban, while a farmer in Middlefield is suing that municipality over it's prohibition.
The attorney for the plaintiff in the Middlefield case says the state has the right to decide energy policy, while Dryden's attorney says these cases are about home rule.
"No state in the country has ever allowed a total ban on drilling through zoning. None. So we would be the first state in the country. We feel strongly that our court will recognize that, recognize that energy is an important state interest and reverse those decisions," said Joint Landowners Coalition of New York attorney Scott Kurkoski.
"Regulating an industry is different than regulating land use. So we are arguing that although the state preempts the regulation of technical operations and activities, the localities retain their home rule power to regulate land use through zoning," said attorney Deborah Goldberg of EarthJustice, representing the Town of Dryden.
Kurkoski expects a decision from the Appellate Court in about six to eight weeks.
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