Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 4:34:42 PM

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Court Rules On Town Fracking Decision

A ruling in the Dryden hydro-fracking case gives power to towns and residents to decide if drilling is allowed in the area they call home. 
 
The New York Court of appeals ruled Monday that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can in fact use local zoning laws to prohibit oil and gas companies from planting their feet in town borders.

The ruling is not only viewed as a victory for Dryden residents, but also that local citizens may now have more of an opportunity for their voice to be heard.  Those who support fracking say this will still allow communities that favor gas drilling to do so.

"Those towns that have asked for, gone to their town boards and asked for a ban or a moratorium like Vestal can now return to those towns and ask again and know that there will be no danger of the town being sued, " said Pat Roberts, member of the Vestal Residents for Safe Energy.

"New York State energy policy can not be made by 931 towns. There should be one central location where these decisions are made and that is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and our state leaders," said Scott Kurkoski, attorney for the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

This dispute started in 2009, when large oil and gas companies pressed Dryden residents to lease their land for hydro-fracking. Since then, this case has been brought before two lesser courts. both times, judges sided with the town.

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