New York Judge: Local Officials, Not State, Should Have Final Say on Gas Drilling, Fracking

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While the Idaho Legislature considers a measure that would empower the state to trump local authority on whether to allow gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, the controversial method to enhance gas flows, a New York judge ruled this week that individual towns should have the right to determine whether fracking could be used in their back yards.

Similar to arguments recently heard in Idaho's Statehouse, natural gas advocates said that local restrictions could hinder their plans for exploration. But according to this morning's New York Times, "opponents of hydrofracking said they were happy to have a weapon added to their arsenal, although it remains to be seen whether the decision will stand up to further judicial review."

The ruling by Justice Phillip Rumsey of the New York State Supreme Court said that municipalities could use their own zoning laws to ban oil and natural gas drilling.

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