June 22, 2015 Articles

Local Fracking Bans: Recent Federal and State-Law Considerations

Local fracking restrictions cannot be reconciled with the U.S. Constitution and principles of state-law preemption.

By Elizabeth Rutledge – June 22, 2015

Enhanced oil and gas production associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is now well known in the United States. And, of course, the related environmental, health, and other controversies are too. It was only a matter of time before local governments intervened (or at least attempted to intervene) to impose restrictions or outright bans on fracking, which in turn have broadly implicated both constitutional and state-law preemption concerns. While these regulatory efforts have been met with mixed results, two recent rulings rendered in New Mexico and Ohio demonstrate that, under certain circumstances, local fracking restrictions cannot be reconciled with the U.S. Constitution and principles of state law preemption. 


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