Certain local zoning laws aimed at limiting fracking can't be used to circumvent the state's authority over oil and gas drilling, a fiercely divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
In a 4-3 decision with three written dissents, the high court said that the home rule clause of Ohio's constitution doesn't allow a municipality to block drilling activities otherwise permitted by the state.
The decision came in a case brought by the Akron suburb of Munroe Falls against Beck Energy Corp. over a 2004 state law that gives Ohio "sole and exclusive authority" to regulate the location of wells. Beck received a state-required permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2011 to drill a traditional well on private property in Munroe Falls. The city sued, saying the company illegally sidestepped local ordinances.