OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case

court gavelCases before the high courts of both New York and Pennsylvania in the past year have ruled that local municipalities can control oil and gas drilling within their borders–so-called “home rule” statutes. In the case of NY the high court went berserk and said towns can actually ban such drilling, which of course strips away private property rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. In PA it was a little better, but not much. PA’s high court gutted provisions in the state’s Act 13 law making for a crazy-quilt patchwork of local zoning regulations that PA’s drillers must now navigate through. One state’s high court, however, has gotten it right. Yesterday the Ohio Supreme Court issued its long awaited ruling in the Munroe Falls v Beck Energy case (for background, see Beck Energy & Munroe Falls Go to Court – Again). In a 4-3 ruling, the OH Supremes said the City of Munroe Falls cannot stop Beck Energy from drilling a well that was properly permitted by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR)…

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