Does PA Supreme Court Act 13 Decision Affect NY Cases?

Apparently there’s been some concern, confusion and downright misleading information circulating since the recent PA Supreme Court decision that grants municipalities in PA the right to continue zoning where shale drilling can and cannot take place (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). Some have tried to draw parallels between the “Dryden” and “Middlefield” cases now before the NY Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court) and the decision by the PA Supreme Court, because both involve issues of home rule or the right of localities to impose zoning on oil and gas drilling.

Even though both the PA Act 13 and the NY Dryden/Middlefield cases are both home rule cases, they are nothing alike and the PA case in no way impacts or affects the NY case. Perhaps the biggest difference between the PA and NY cases is this: In PA even though municipalities can now legally zone for oil and gas drilling, they must still allow oil and gas drilling in at least one zone. In NY, towns have completely banned drilling throughout the entire (rural) township. Huge difference. And there are other differences. Because of the ongoing confusion, the pro-drilling attorney for the Middlefield case, Scott Kurkoski, issued the following statement on the JLCNY website to clear the air and set the record straight…

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