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Attorney Tom West representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy makes his oral argument before the Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg listens in the foreground. Photo: Innovation Trail
Attorney Tom West representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy makes his oral argument before the Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg listens in the foreground. Photo: Innovation Trail

Dryden defends anti-fracking in home rule case

The debate over whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders was brought before the State Court of Appeals Tuesday afternoon. The town of Dryden is defending its right to home rule against lawyers representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg says she feels confident bringing the case before the court because home rule is protected by the state constitution and New York isn't alone.

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Reported by

Jenna Flanagan
Reporter, The Innovation Trail

"If the court is concerned about what the practical implications might be, then we know that there are other states around the country that do allow local bans on oil and gas drilling within municipal borders and never the less don't have any problems supporting the oil and gas industry."

She says states like Oklahoma, Texas, California and Illinois all allow drilling bans similar to the one Dryden is hoping the court will uphold.

Earthjustice, which is representing the town pro bono, joined town representatives and environmentalists at a pre-hearing presser at the Legislative Office Building in Albany hours before appearing.

Dryden has been locked in a dispute over fracking after the town board unanimously decided to ban fracking in August, 2011. That following February, the oil and gas company sued the town and the appellate court upheld Dryden's right to home rule in May, 2013.

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