OH Supreme Court Sends Mixed Signal on “Home Rule” Issue

Earlier this year the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a very important court case that the “city” (of 5,000 people) of Monroe Falls could not layer on its own oil and gas regulations over top of state regulations, effectively preventing Beck Energy from drilling on a site in the city already properly permitted (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). It was assumed that case would provide precedence and settle the issue once and for all that towns can’t simply pass their own zoning regulations in an attempt to prevent oil and gas drilling. But it appears the mind of the Supremes is far from being settled. Beck Energy, following that case, pressed their advantage and asked the court for an order that directs Monroe Falls to not use zoning ordinances “to prohibit drilling for oil and gas in 99.06 percent of the city’s territory.” On Tuesday the Supreme Court dismissed the request without comment, leaving everyone to wonder what they really intend. It appears to not be a good sign for the drilling industry in Ohio…

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