CO Bill Compensates Landowners, Drillers in Towns with Frack Bans

Over the years MDN chronicled the long, sad battle in New York State over both a statewide moratorium on fracking, and on the issue of whether towns can ban fracking. The statewide moratorium, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, continues. However, lawsuits filed against townships that enacted bans went all the way to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals–and in June 2014 we lost (see Shale Drilling in NY is Over – High Court Upholds Town Bans). There have long been rumors and talks among New York landowners about launching a “takings” lawsuit–in which landowners would get compensation from the state because the state has “taken” their right to lease land and allow drilling. If the state runs a highway over your land, they have to pay you fair market value for it. Same principle. But so far, a takings lawsuit has not materialized in New York. Perhaps we can look to the west–to Colorado–to see how we still might prevail. A Colorado legislator has introduced a bill in Colorado that would allow landowners (and drillers) to sue local towns in the state that pass fracking bans–using the principle of takings. Should we consider such legislation in New York?…

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