The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled a state commission that hears oil and gas complaints canít consider drilling permits that the state gives to companies that use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,

The Dispatch said, "The high courtís 5-2 ruling declares that the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission lacked the authority to consider a Columbiana County cattle farmís challenge of a drilling permit that state officials had awarded to Chesapeake Energy.

"The decision also helps end a months-long legal dispute between the five-member commission, oil and gas companies and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. State lawmakers got involved, too, passing a law in September that declared drilling permits off-limits.

"Sam Johnson, president of the Summitcrest cattle farm, questioned the commissionís value if it canít hear permit challenges. 'What use is the oil and gas commission if they donít have any authority to do anything?' Johnson said."