The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission does not have jurisdiction over appeals of drilling permits issued by the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled Wednesday.
In a 5-2 decision, the court found that the commission was wrong to hear a landowner’s appeal of a drilling permit issued to Chesapeake Energy in March 2012 to drill an oil and gas well.
Before the case was taken up by the Supreme Court, the commission affirmed the issuance of the drilling permit to Chesapeake. The commission argued this made the court case moot, but the justices disagreed.
In its per curiam ruling, the court said that while one section of state law gives the commission general authority to hear appeals of all “orders” of the Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management chief, a different section of the same statute specifically states that “the issuance of a permit shall not be considered an order of the chief.”
Justices Paul Pfeifer and Judith Ann Lanzinger entered separate dissenting opinions.