Court Battles Wage Over Fracking
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been holding off on a final decision about the future of hydrofracking for natural gas in the state. But the question has already sparked two appeals court battles.
Recently, lawyers for the Tompkins County town of Dryden squared off with attorneys representing drilling company Norse Energy Corp. in the mid-level Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.
Tom West, representing Norse, appealed a lower court's ruling that the town has the right to ban fracking within its boundaries. Defending the town was Deborah Goldberg of Earth Justice, an environmental organization.
A similar case was also argued in which Jennifer Huntington, a landowner in Otsego County, contested a town of Middlefield ban on the process.
While dozens of towns have banned or placed moratoriums on fracking, the two court actions have emerged as test cases.