- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
N.Y. court: Towns can ban fracking
The state’s governor hasn’t decided whether to allow fracking, but a New York appeals court on Thursday ruled that local governments have the right to ban the controversial practice.
The decision is a key victory for environmentalists, and sets up a scenario where the true battle over fracking in the Empire State will take place town by town, rather than in Albany.
“We hold that [existing state oil and gas law] does not preempt, either expressly or impliedly, a municipality’s power to enact a local zoning ordinance banning all activities related to the exploration for, and the production or storage of, natural gas and petroleum within its borders,” the court wrote in its decision.
The case began after the small town of Dryden voted in 2011 to ban all oil and gas development, including fracking. Dryden is one of at least 150 local governments in New York to reject the practice; Thursday’s decision seems to indicate that all of those prohibitions will stand up to legal challenges.
“The people who live here and know the town best should be the ones deciding how our land is used, not some executive in a corporate office park thousands of miles away,” said Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, continues to weigh whether he’ll allow fracking in parts of upstate New York. By his own admission, much of upstate is economically depressed and in need of a boost — something the oil and gas industry could certainly provide. The sector has created thousands of jobs and revived local economies in neighboring Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
But Thursday’s ruling greatly complicates Mr. Cuomo’s decision.
Even if he green-lights the practice, it’s possible that very little, if any, fracking would take place if enough resistance is generated at the local level. Environmental groups and celebrity activists such as Yoko Ono already have drummed up unprecedented anti-fracking sentiment in New York, putting Mr. Cuomo — a rumored 2016 presidential candidate — in a tough political position.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama unveils new $600 billion jobs initiative
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Separation of church and Obama: Religious ties may run deep, but president's attendance has not
- Obamas paid $98K in taxes in 2013, White House says
- Obama calls principal of Pa. high school devastated by stabbings
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.