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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ohio Forced Pooling Law Withstands Legal Challenge

From Law 360:
The Sixth Circuit on Monday upheld the dismissal of a constitutional challenge to an Ohio law allowing drillers to tap properties near ones they’ve leased without getting consent from landowners, saying a permit issued by state regulators to Chesapeake Exploration LLC doesn’t constitute a “taking” under the 14th Amendment. 
An appeals court panel affirmed an Ohio federal judge’s June dismissal of a suit by landowners challenging the order issued by the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management under the state’s so-called forced pooling law allowing Chesapeake to horizontally drill below their properties. 
The landowners can’t cite a single case that such pooling schemes are unconstitutional, the Sixth Circuit panel said in its opinion. Meanwhile, the Ohio Supreme Court has said the state’s forced pooling law is a legitimate use of its police power in regulating oil and gas development, and courts in other states have reached similar conclusions about their respective pooling laws, the panel said.
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