Where, selectively, some state court cases – such as the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in favor of Home Rule – have no bearing on New York state law (correct) but that some anti Home Rule state court cases do have bearing on New York state law (wrong !). Note that this comes from the Disjointed Landowners Coalition’s very own captive Shale Shyster, who has been trying to milk the landowners of their money in order to mount a publicity stunt against the State of New York. Catch is he has no plaintiff that has been damaged, no case law to base the claim on, and hence, no case. Just an excuse to shake down landowners for some legal fees.
So now the Shale Shyster opines on Home Rule case law in some other states. Because he’s 0 and 8 on the subject in New York.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Act 13 Decision
Dear Friends, Natural Gas Supporters, and Gullible Reporters,
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a decision in the Robinson Township case striking down portions of Act 13, a law enacted in 2012 that addressed several oil and gas issues, including the imposition of an impact fee on gas drillers. Some will argue that it lends support to New York’s home rule decisions in Dryden and Middlefield. Rest assured, this ruling has absolutely no precedential value on our New York cases.In the Robinson Township case, the Supreme Court issued a complicated 162 page decision about the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s new law – Act 13. The decision does not say municipalities can do what they want nor does it change pre-Act 13 law, which generally prohibited municipalities from regulating oil and gas development. It just tossed Act 13 out as it pertains to Home Rule.The constitutionality of New York’s law is not at issue in Dryden and Middlefield. Home Rule is in the Constitution The Court of Appeals is being asked to interpret ECL 23-0303 (2) which states:
In addition, under ECL 23-0301,New York has declared it to be in the public interest to regulate oil and gas in such a manner as will provide for a greater ultimate recovery of oil and gas. And, Energy Law 3-101 establishes that it is the energy policy of New York to foster, encourage and promote the development of all indigenous state energy resources. The state’s energy policy is not in dispute in these cases.
When we look to states with legislative programs similar to New York, we find that no court has authorized a total ban on oil and gas activities through zoning. Instead, courts in other states have held that the development of their oil and gas resources are matters of state interests, superseding a municipality’s total ban on oil and gas development (see Voss v Lundvall Bros., 830 P2d 1061 [Colo. 1992]; see also Energy Mgmt. Corp. v City of Shreveport, 397 F3d 297 [5th Cir. 2005]; Louisiana oil and gas law does preempt local zoning, but does not invalidate them. State ex rel. Morrison v Beck Energy Corp., 989 NE2d 85 [Ohio Ct App. 9th Dist 2013], appeal allowed 989 NE2d 70 ; The trial court held that drillers were required to abide by local ordinances. Northeast Natural Energy, LLC v City of Morgantown, Civ Act No 11-C-411, 2011 WL 3584376 [W Va Cir Ct Aug 12, 2011]). This was a trial court ruling, which is not an appellate level precedent, even in W Va. The drilling permits had already been issued and were located outside of the town’s borders.
The Colorado Supreme Court in Voss v. Lundvall Bros. stated “the state’s interest in the efficient and fair development and production of oil and gas resources in the state, including the location and spacing of individual wells, militates against a [municipality’s] total ban on drilling” This was in Greeley, Colorado, where the town had already granted 4 drilling permit requests, then changed its mind and prohibited drilling-after the permits were issued. Home Rule advocates and now seeking clarification in Colorado.
Many have attempted to use municipal home rule to reverse our nation’s progress towards energy independence and cash in on some hellacious gas wells at the expense of their neighbors and the environment. Fortunately, courts throughout the country have found that their states have an overriding state interest in the development and promotion of oil and gas and a need for statewide uniformity that require that inconsistent local laws be superseded. Except in states that bach Home Rule, which is the majority. A “not in my back yard” approach will never work for energy development. Except of course where it has, in places like Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Only a uniform state approach to oil and gas development can ensure a balance between the protection of our natural resources and the development of our energy resources, as ordained by the fracking lobbysts. Actually, local zoning controls oil and gas land use in most states, even in Dallas, Texas. Imagine that.
I am hopeful that our New York State Court of Appeals will blissfully ignore the eight justices that have held in favor of Home Rule and issue a decision consistent with the gas lobbyist’s goals that allow frackers to frack anywhere. The Shale Shysters have lost at trial every time. Wonder why.
Remembers to send money in to the Pay Some Shysters For a Fracking Publicity Stunt Fund
Disjointed Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.