Today marked a big step in the effort to prevent municipalities from banning oil and gas development in New York State. Both the Dryden and Middlefield cases were argued before the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Albany. Four Appellate Division Justices heard the case. They were extremely well prepared and seemed to understand all of the issues involved. The Justices did an excellent job of pressing both sides with questions probative of issues central to the cases. However, it is impossible to tell where they are heading based upon the balanced questioning that was presented to counsel for both sides of these cases. We look forward to their decisions concerning these cases in the next 6 to 8 weeks.