Lawyer asks top NY court to hear drill ban appeal

June 4, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A lawyer representing a dairy farmer who wants to profit from the natural gas beneath her land is asking New York's highest court to hear an appeal of lower court rulings that upheld local drilling bans.

Scott Kurkoski is challenging the town of Middlefield's drilling ban on behalf of dairy farmer Jennifer Huntington. Kurkoski says in his motion to the state Court of Appeals that if the town's ban is allowed to stand, it effectively authorizes every municipality in the state to ban oil and gas development.

Kurkoski notes that about 150 communities have already enacted bans or moratoriums on gas drilling.

A lawyer from Earthjustice is representing supporters of drilling bans in the towns of Middlefield and Dryden.