February 24, 2012

And Middlefield wins too

It's been a bad week for the gas industry and their lead attorney, Tom West. The Town of Middlefield, New York was battling a lawsuit parallel to Dryden's. In Dryden's case, the gas company, Anschutz Exploration Company, had sued, while in Middlefield, a landowner, Cooperstown Holstein Corporation, had sued. Both cases rested on the interpretation of New York State Environmental Conservation Law §23-0303(2), and both judges came to similar conclusions.

For Middlefield, the result reads:

Specifically, did the State of New York, by the enactment of ECL §23-0303(2), prohibit local municipalities from enacting legislation which may impact upon the oil, gas, and solution drilling or mining industries other than that pertaining to local roads and the municipalities' rights under the real property law? This Court finds the answer to this question to be in the negative.

Again, this is round one. There will likely be an appeal to a panel of judges, and then an appeal to New York State's top court, the Court of Appeals.

Posted by simon at February 24, 2012 4:57 PM in ,
Note on photos