Anti-hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, activists suffered a pair of major legal defeats in Ohio when the state Supreme Court refused to put anti-fracking measures on the ballot in November and blocked attempts by local governments to ban fracking.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s Thursday rulings aren’t major surprises, as local fracking bans have repeatedly been struck down around the country.
Several state and federal courts concluded that only the state government has the legal authority to regulate fracking, as any ban would be “preempted by state law and therefore, is invalid and unenforceable.”
The oil and gas industry in most states have historically been regulated by state, not local, government. Environmental groups, including The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Food and Water Watch, and Earthworks vehemently support local bans on fracking across the country.
The court also concluded that local governments can’t hold referendums to amend charters to ban fracking.