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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ohio Courts Continue to Rule Against Local Fracking Bans

From the Athens News:
Another Ohio court case has gone against community activists seeking local restrictions on oil and gas drilling. The appeals court’s decision in this Cuyahoga County civil case is especially noteworthy in that it directly addresses – and dismisses – the legal underpinnings of “community bill of rights” laws that voters have passed in the city of Athens and other communities around the state.

A similar anti-fracking “bill of rights” is part of a charter amendment that local fracking opponents hope to place on the Athens County ballot next November.

So far, no Ohio court, including the state Supreme Court, has upheld the local fracking restrictions in question, each time ruling that Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1509 reserves oil and gas regulation to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

However, until now, none of those court decisions had directly addressed the core “bill of rights” argument that “the people have an inalienable and fundamental right to local community self-government” that includes the right to pass laws restricting or banning fracking and related activities such as waste injection wells, as well as other industrial processes.
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