The New Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling by a lower court allowing the communities in New York to keep fracking out of their respective areas. ThinkProgress quoted Dryden Deputy Supervisor Jason Leifer commenting on the court decision as a case in which the courts stood with the people of New York to “protect their right to self determination”.
Environmental activists are taking the court’s ruling as a victory against fracking. In an email message, Kathleen Sutcliffe, Campaign Manager for Earthjustice, called the court’s decision a huge victory for more than 170 NY towns. The message informed that Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg represented the town of Dryden (population 14,5000) on appeal, after Anschutz Exploration Corporation, owned by Forbes-ranked Phillip Anschutz (net worth: $7.5 billion), unsuccessfully sued the town. She was quoted on the court’s ruling as:
For too long the oil and gas industry has intimidated and abused people, expecting to get away with it. That behavior is finally coming back to haunt them, as communities across the country stand up and say ‘no more’.
Fracking for oil/gas is seen as a risk for the environment in multiple ways, including a recent warning by scientists who concluded that fracking can lead to an increased risk of dangerous earthquakes.