The highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals, handed down its decision Monday that the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban oil and gas exploration within their borders, including the practice of hydro-fracking.

This decision could have a wide ranging impact as New York State continues to study the environmental and health impacts of the fracking process.

Over 100 municipalities across the state have enacted some sort of local ban on hydro-fracking.

The court was direct in pointing out that the decision was in no way meant to be construed as any sort of declarative statement on the process of hydro-fracking as a whole, and that the power to allow or ban the practice still resides within the executive and legislative branches of state government.

Unshackle Upstate has long advocated for the state to conclude its years long studies of hydro-fracking and end its de facto ban on the process, which we believe can and has been done safely in other states and would create thousands of jobs across the New York, particularly in the economically struggling Southern Tier.