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Can local communities enact laws to govern where and how drilling takes place?

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans

  February 17, 2015 reports:  "In nearly split decision, Court rules local ordinances cannot overrule state drilling permits The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that cities can not enforce local laws banning fracking if the state has issued a permit to a driller."
generic graphic does not    
represent Judge French
WKSU's report continues: "The case was argued last February. The city of Munroe Falls said it had the authority to pass local zoning ordinances and other laws affecting oil and gas drillers, including Beck Energy, which had permission from the owner of some residential property and a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources."
  • http://www.wksu.org/news/story/41992
  • more here: Ohio Supreme Court rules state, not Munroe Falls, regulates gas, oil drilling locations http://www.gasandoilmag.com/gas%20&%20oil/2015/02/17/ohio-supreme-court-rules-state-not-munroe-falls-regulates-gas-oil-drilling-locations

Local perspectives on "So falls, Munroe Falls" (most just follow the AP story line)
  • Court upholds Ohio's power to regulate oil and gas drilling http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20150217/NEWS/150219404/1994/NEWS
  • High Court Upholds Ohio’s Power To Regulate Oil And Gas http://wosu.org/2012/news/2015/02/17/high-court-upholds-ohios-power-regulate-oil-gas/
  • Ohio Supreme Court rules 4-3 that only the state can regulate oil and gas well locations http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/feb/18/top-ohio-court-upholds-states-power-to-r/
  • High court upholds Ohio’s power to regulate oil and gas http://www.starbeacon.com/news/high-court-upholds-ohio-s-power-to-regulate-oil-and/article_26ad395c-b6d1-11e4-8750-6b1c3dbbf762.html
  • Court upholds Ohio's power to regulate oil and gas drilling http://www.timesreporter.com/article/20150217/NEWS/150219404/1994/NEWS
  • Court upholds Ohio's power to regulate drilling http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/story/news/local/2015/02/17/court-upholds-ohios-power-regulate-drilling/23559145/
  • Grass-roots group unhappy with Munroe Falls drilling decision http://www.ohio.com/blogs/drilling/ohio-utica-shale-1.291290/grass-roots-group-unhappy-with-munroe-falls-drilling-decision-1.567751

 More on Munroe Falls decision (week 2 reactions)
  • Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling differing opinions on what the ruling really means for communities around the state http://www.wksu.org/news/story/42016
  • Home rule versus oil & gas drilling, the question remains open It includes deciding if a jurisdiction is acting to control local property use or trying to be an industry regulator  http://www.wksu.org/news/story/42036
  • Ohio high court's Munroe Falls oil ruling wrongly quashes home rule rights, again: editorial http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/02/home_rule_rights_in_ohio_again.html#incart_river
  • Officials and activists react to state high court ruling against local fracking laws http://www.athensnews.com/ohio/article-44358-officials-and-activists-react-to-state-high-court-ruling-against-local-fracking-laws.html
Some analysis of the decision
  • Beck Energy won at Supreme Court but oil prices might nix well at center of dispute http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/ohio-energy-inc/2015/02/beck-energy-won-at-supreme-court-but-oil-prices.html
  • Ohio Supreme Court: Oil & Gas Drilling Statutes Preempt "Home Rule" Power http://www.bricker.com/publications-and-resources/publications-and-resources-details.aspx?Publicationid=3006
Settled for now?  Hardly!
Supremes leave unanswered questions
  • what kinds of local regulation WOULD be permissible under this ruling? http://businessjournaldaily.com/ruling-leaves-open-local-zoning-options-for-oil-and-gas/
  • will we see continuous litigation as other cities test their local ordinances?
Rank speculation
  • wouldn't it be ironic if Democrats in Ohio became the champions of small governments seeking to overturn state law?
  • could be i just missed it, but newspapers in two towns with local ordinances (Athens & Mansfield) did not cover the story.  Maybe waiting for local advocates to react.

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