6/30/14

NY Court of Appeals Hands Down Landmark Fracking Decision

The Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest appellate court, has handed down a landmark decision ruling that New York towns have the right to ban the controversial, high-risk natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking or "fracking" within their limits.

The decision brought relief to the more than 170 New York towns that have either temporarily halted or outright banned fracking, as well as the dozens more waiting for the New York Court of Appeals decision before going ahead with their own bans.

The decision will also resonate with communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, California, and other American states where local residents are fighting to hold back the fracking juggernaut.

The town of Dryden (population 14,5000) was represented by Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg in the appeal, brought by billionaire Phillip Anschutz, owner of the Anschutz Exploration Corporation, after losing a lawsuit against the town.

The Court of Appeals decision, Goldberg said, settles the question whether New York towns can ban fracking, sending a black-and-white message to the bullying oil and gas industry.  That behavior is coming back around, she said, as American communities rise up and fight back against the drilling lobby.

Last year, more than 20,000 Earthjustice members sent messages of support to the people of Dryden as they fought off Anschutz.  With fracking bearing down on more than 30 states, Earthjustice wants to get out the message that there is hope. Visit earthjustice.org/dryden-photos and share -- particularly if you have friends and family in Pennsylvania, Colorado, California, Texas, or Ohio.

More from Bloomberg News.

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