On May 29th, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved and signed into law Senate Bill No. 809 aimed at preventing municipalities from banning the use of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.
The new law provides that local governments are not allowed to prohibit or ban any oil and gas operations, including shale gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing, which are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Nonetheless, local governments are allowed to “enact reasonable ordinances, rules and regulations concerning road use, traffic, noise and odors incidental to oil and gas operations within [their] boundaries”. Additionally, the law states that local governments can “also establish reasonable setbacks and fencing requirements for oil and gas well site locations as are reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of [the Oklahoma citizens]”.
Interestingly, Oklahoma’s legislation on prohibiting fracking bans follows shortly the Texas’ legislation enacted on May 18th, 2015 that also makes local fracking bans illegal.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow