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New bill would allow local regulation of oil drilling in Michigan

There are many different legal disputes a business could potentially find itself in in relation to property it has here in Michigan. One are disputes regarding local regulations. Townships and counties in the state generally have a variety of different regulations regarding land use and what sorts of business operations can be performed where. These regulations can strongly impact whether a business is able to use a property it has in the way it desires. Experienced real estate attorneys can help businesses that want to use a property they have in a way that is barred by local regulations look into whether they could pursue a zoning variance or some other legal solution that would allow them to use the property in the way they wish.

Legislation has recently been proposed here in Michigan which would expand the regulatory abilities of counties and townships in the state. Specifically, this new bill would allow townships and counties to put forward regulations on an activity that they currently are not authorized to regulate: oil drilling.

Under current state law, counties and townships are generally banned from regulating oil drilling. The bill would remove this prohibition.

Proponents of the bill argue that it would allow townships and counties to better protect the rights and interests of their residents. Skeptics of the bill have expressed worries that the bill could result in exploration and drilling efforts in the state facing unnecessary obstacles.

What is your opinion of this bill? Do you think the state will ultimately decide to pass it? If this proposed legislation is passed, do you think we will see lots of oil-drilling-related regulations arise at the county and township level here in Michigan? What impacts do you think such regulations would have on Michigan and its economy? Are you in favor of or against this bill?

Source: The Detroit News, "More local control sought over Michigan oil drilling," Jim Lynch, March 3, 2015

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