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The Associated Press reports:
While only the state can set rules for oil and gas drilling in New York, local governments have the right to ban the industry from operating within their borders, a state court judge ruled Friday in the second opinion of its kind this week.
The ruling, seen as a victory for local "home rule" and a blow to the industry and gas lease-holding landowners, was handed up by State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio in Otsego County. He rejected the claim of a landowner who argued that the rural town of Middlefield's zoning ordinance enacted last year violated a 1981 state law that trumps local laws when it comes to regulating oil and gas drilling.