State's Highest Court Asked to Consider Legality of "Fracking" Bans
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing have asked New York’s top court to decide whether local governments can ban gas drilling, but whether the court agrees to take the case is far from certain.
Attorneys for Norse Energy and an Otsego County farmer made the filing late Friday, asking the seven-member Court of Appeals to take on the cases of a pair of upstate towns that changed their zoning laws in 2011 to ban hydrofracking and gas drilling.
Since a mid-level appeals court ruled unanimously last month in favor of upholding the bans, however, there’s no requirement that the top court must hear the case.
The cases -- involving the towns of Dryden in Tompkins County and Middlefield in Otsego County -- are expected to set a precedent statewide and have been closely watched by fracking supporters and opponents. More than 150 municipalities have passed a ban or moratorium on gas drilling or fracking.
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