By Laura Barron-Lopez - 12/20/13 12:13 PM EST
Pennsylvania's high court struck down a section of a law that would ease natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale formation, Bloomberg reports.
In a 4-2 ruling on Thursday, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled the law — which was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R) last year — unconstitutional because it limited the ability of municipalities to control gas drilling.
Pennsylvania's constitution grants citizens the right "to clean air and pure water, and to the preservation of the environment," the court said. The hydraulic fracturing regulation would go against that right, the court added.
With the surge in natural gas production and debates over local control in other states like New York, the court decision was highly anticipated on Thursday.