Will the Fight Over Marcellus Shale Drilling in New York go Local? Legislation Pending in Albany Will Decide

MDN received an email alert from the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) concerning legislation that is actively being considered Albany (see the letter below). The legislation in question is the bill A3245 (full text here) which passed the New York Assembly on Monday, and bill S3472 (full text here), the Senate counterpart. The legislation, if passed, would give local municipalities the right to use zoning laws to dictate where drilling can and cannot happen within their borders. This is a major change in how New York governs the drilling industry—both Marcellus Shale drilling which has not yet begun, and existing oil and gas drilling. The language of the bill states:

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Morgantown, WV Bans Marcellus Drilling Outside City Limits – Driller May Sue to Recoup Investment

After a few months of heated debate, the Morgantown (WV) City Council has voted to prohibit Marcellus Shale drilling not only within their borders, but also up to a mile outside of their borders. How can they do that? There is a provision in West Virginia state code that allows cities to extend their authority up to a mile beyond their borders to carry out city functions. It is that state loophole that Morgantown has used to shut down two wells slated to be drilled.

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