Many of you have concerns about the oil extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing. I share your concerns. Fracking poses challenges to the health, environment and quality of life for people living nearby and has the potential to contaminate groundwater. Local communities have zoning and land use powers that should be available to keep drilling operations away from homes and schools. In this context, local land use control is good policy.
Several bills have been introduced to strengthen local land use powers to protect neighborhoods from the impacts of oil and gas operations. Bills have also been introduced to take all land use powers away from local governments with respect to oil and gas drilling. I come down strongly on the side of neighborhoods and the environment. Sensible land use regulations will not harm responsible development of oil and gas resources.