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Fracking Cases Argued in Albany

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York says the future of the state's energy policies and the rights of landowners now sits with the judges of New York's highest court.
The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York says the future of the state's energy policies and the rights of landowners now sits with the judges of New York's highest court.

Home rule cases were argued before the New York State Court of Appeals yesterday on behalf of people in Middlefield and Dryden who have not been allowed to capitalize on their mineral resources, in part, because the towns they are in have banned gas drilling.

The town bans are on top of the statewide moratorium on fracking.

JLCNY attorney Scott Kurkoski says it's rare to get a case heard by the court of appeals because it has to accept cases.

Kurkoski says energy policy cannot be dictated by votes from municipal boards. There are more than than 900 of them in the state.

Kurkoski says the JLCNY's argument went very well and that a favorable opinion would help catch the eye of companies.

"The important thing is if this case is decided in our favor this will open up the potential for investment in New York, because right now companies are not interested in coming here as long as towns can ban oil and gas drilling on a 3-2 town board vote," said Kurkoski.

Lower courts had ruled against the JLCNY's cases.

A decision on the appeals may come as late as this fall, because of the complexity of the cases.
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