The American Planning Association’s journal Planning and Environmental Law today published an article by Clinical Instructor Shaun Goho on the ability of local governments to regulate hydraulic fracturing. Across the country, cities, towns, and other local governments are moving to ban, limit, or regulate oil and gas drilling within their borders. These efforts have taken on a new urgency in recent years, as the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas and other forms of “tight” oil or gas has increased.
These local efforts can come into conflict with state authority over natural resource development. As a result, the question whether these local ordinances are preempted by state laws is being hotly contested in courts and legislatures around the U.S. The article, entitled Municipalities and Hydraulic Fracturing – Trends in State Preemption, reviews the status of preemption of local ordinances related to hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia.