Monday, July 21, 2014

Fracking win

From the decision:
At the heart of these cases lies the relationship
between the State and its local government subdivisions, and
their respective exercise of legislative power. These appeals
are not about whether hydrofracking is beneficial or detrimental
to the economy, environment or energy needs of New York, and we
pass no judgment on its merits. These are major policy questions
for the coordinate branches of government to resolve. The
discrete issue before us, and the only one we resolve today, is
whether the State Legislature eliminated the home rule capacity
of municipalities to pass zoning laws that exclude oil, gas and
hydrofracking activities in order to preserve the existing
character of their communities. There is no dispute that the
State Legislature has this right if it chooses to exercise it.
But in light of ECL 23-0303 (2)'s plain language, its place
within the OGSML's framework and the legislative background, we
cannot say that the supersession clause -- added long before the
current debate over high-volume hydrofracking and horizontal
drilling ignited -- evinces a clear expression of preemptive
intent. The zoning laws of Dryden and Middlefield are therefore

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