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Bass Energy v. City of Broadview Heights

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20048
Nos. CV-14-828074, (Ohio Ct. C.P., 03/11/2015)

An Ohio court struck down a city's ban on drilling new oil and gas wells within its jurisdiction. On the one hand, the ban is a clear exercise of the city's police power; by attempting to ban oil and gas drilling, the city is trying to protect the public health and general welfare. But the ban is in direct conflict with the state's regulatory scheme for oil and gas operations, R.C. Chapter 1509. Because the city's ban would prohibit what general law R.C. Chapter 1509 allows, the ban is an invalid exercise of the city's home rule authority and R.C. Chapter 1509 preempts the ban as a matter of law. The court, therefore, granted an energy company's motion for a declaratory judgment and held that the city may not prevent the company from drilling a well under a state-issued permit.