Towns that Ban Fracking Could be Bankrupted by Takings Lawsuits

New York townships that recently won the right to outright ban shale drilling with a 3-2 majority vote by a town board may want to rethink their ill-advised votes. Due to a tip from a sharp MDN reader, we bring you a press release from the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) about recent court decisions in Colorado. Similar to the New York case, some municipalities in CO have attempted outright bans of fracking–and those cases, contrary to what happened in NY–are being lost. (Certainly not the first time NY has been out of step on important issues.) One study mentioned in the NARO announcement says that bans and moratoria in Boulder County, CO could result in more than one billion dollars of “takings” lawsuits by landowners. In other words, the lawsuits will bankrupt the towns and villages stupid enough to enact a ban. Are you listening Dryden and Middlefield? You won round one in NY–but the battle is far from over and taxpayers in your towns may one day rue your decision to act foolishly to ban fracking…

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