Energy. Environment. Economy.

How Local Zoning Works In Texas, Oklahoma And Other Drilling States

As Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court weighs whether or not to throw out language in Act 13 restricting municipalities’ ability to regulate natural gas extraction, EnergyWire examines how local zoning works in other drilling-heavy states:

The administration of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is suing the city of Longmont, suburban community north of Denver, to overturn its ban on drilling in residential neighborhoods. In the election earlier this month, residents voted to add a citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.

…But lack of uniformity hasn’t pinched development in Texas. The Lone Star State still accounts for the lion’s share of drilling in the United States. The rig count in the Permian Basin that surrounds Midland has doubled since the beginning of 2010. Perry says about 10 companies drill within the city limits.

And in Oklahoma, where the fervor for drilling is no less intense, some cities flat-out ban drilling within their city limits. Among them is Tulsa, which once billed itself as the Oil Capital of the World.



  • Ladderback

    Scott, you may be missing one very important difference between Pa and the other States in comparing zoning and the effects of zoning on drilling — and the importance of Pa State legislation. In Pa and many northeastern states, every square foot of the state is part of a local government. In most other states, there are cities and the rest of the land is covered and regulated by the county. Every local government in Colorado could ban drilling and still only cover a very small portion of the State. In Pa, every place is local. You might even want to look up “Dillon’s Law” and how it affects Pennsylvania.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »