New York court decision bolsters anti-fracking movement

A New York court decision has bolstered a movement among towns determined to prevent hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within their borders.

A state Supreme Court justice on Tuesday upheld the Town of Dryden's 2011 ban on gas drilling. Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corporation had argued state law trumped the ban. An appeal of the trial-level court ruling is expected.

More than 50 New York communities have enacted gas-drilling bans. Attorney Helen Slottje, who helps draft such laws, says the ruling should embolden towns considering bans.

Similar ordinances enacted by several West Virginia communities were overturned in court last year. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed legislation limiting municipalities' ability to ban drilling.

New York has had a moratorium on drilling permits since 2008 while it drafts new regulations.