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May 27, 2016
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High court upholds fracking bans; zoning important function of local government

Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with the environmental advocacy group Earthjustice, argues before the Court of Appeals on June 3

Scott Kurkoski, who represents dairy farmer Jennifer Huntington who signed a gas lease, attacked Governor Andrew Cuomo for not yet determining if fracking will be allowed in the state after seven years of considering the matter. He said, “New York squanders the best opportunity for energy independence we have seen in our lifetimes.”

But for the 77 municipalities that have passed fracking bans in the state, and the many more that are considering bans, the ruling brings an end to uncertainty.

“This decision by the Court of Appeals has settled the matter once and for all across New York State and has sent a firm message to the oil and gas industry,” said Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg. “For too long the oil and gas industry has intimidated and abused people, expecting to get away with it. That behavior is finally coming back to haunt them, as communities across the country stand up and say ‘no more.’ Earthjustice is proud to have stood with, and fought on behalf of, one such community.”