Fracking is not a new technology, but it only recently came to the forefront of energy industry news. Fracking’s recent fame has been both positive and negative. Fracking proponents have lauded the economic and environmental benefits of the process. They cite the process’ ability to extract formerly inaccessible oil and natural gas, which reduces the U.S.’s demand for foreign oil and natural gas and reduces the use of coal. In contrast, fracking opponents state fracking damages the environment by diluting drinking water with harmful chemicals, generating emissions, and creating general nuisances for communities. They believe fracking’s harmful impacts clearly outweigh any benefits that arise from the process. Instead of having a uniform regulatory scheme for this controversial topic, the federal government, state governments, and municipal governments have created a mishmash of regulations, and much consternation and litigation have arisen from conflicts between state and municipal laws. This Note will explore the litigation currently in state courts, specifically West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Colorado, which will decide the future of fracking. This Note will also explain how the arguments in each case are essentially the same. After reviewing the pertinent litigation surrounding this issue, this Note proposes that a more centralized, comprehensive federal regime is the best regulatory option for fracking.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.