Natural gas leaseholders and industry have sued at least two municipalities,
challenging recently enacted zoning ordinances that remove natural gas
extraction as a permissible land use-in effect banning fracking within
municipal borders. State courts are now poised to decide whether
localities in New York have the power to ban fracking locally, or if ordinances
banning fracking are preempted by state law. The question presented is whether the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law (OGSM) preempts a
generally applicable zoning ordinance that bans natural gas extraction.
This Field Report discusses the factual and legal context in which this
question arises, and argues that the OGSM does not preempt a general zoning ban
on natural gas extraction.