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The Arrogant Orchestrated World of Fractivism

fractivism - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Fractivism has been on full display this week as the arrogant orchestrated world of astroturf that it really is; a disdainful power grab financed by elites.

Yesterday, as I expected and feared would happen the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) surrendered yet again to the orchestrated efforts of one its own funders to intimidate it. A DRBC hearing at which the public was supposedly restricted to commenting “only on the items that have been advertised in the public hearing notice,” and at which there was supposed to be “NO open public comment session,” was allowed to become another fiasco of fractivism.


Josh Fox

The Intelligencer reports the following (emphasis added):

In 2013, the commission chair said the board needs more time to study the issue and has since refused to issue any permits for fracking until rules are adopted. Last May, the Wayne Land and Mineral Group hoped to move the commission along by filing a complaint in federal court but no hearing date has been set. So far, the DRBC has remained mum.

But the water resource plan that the DRBC intends to vote on at its meeting next month has environmentalists concerned that it could be a signal the agency’s fracking moratorium is fracturing.

We are under siege from the fracking industry,” Wayne County Oscar-nominated filmmaker and journalist Josh Fox told the commissioners. Fox is known for his documentary “Gasland,” which focuses on communities across the country affected by natural gas drilling. “We’re going to oppose all these projects.”

“Fracking has ravaged our communities,” said Tracy Carluccio of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Residents from all four states covered by the DRBC — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware — packed the 248-seat auditorium, cheering on preselected spokespeople from their state such as Jeff Tittle, president of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

“The citizens of New Jersey want a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin now,” he said in unison with a chorus of New Jersey residents. The phrase was echoed by each state contingency.

Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum pointedly asked DRBC Executive Director Steven Tambini if the change in policy in the new water resource plan was his doing, citing that the majority of state governors in the commission are outspoken opponents of fracking.

“I ask you Executive Director Tambini, are you the one pushing for the regulations that would lift protections from drilling and fracking operations in my watershed?” she said.

Tambini put everyone on notice early on that the meeting was to solicit public comments only, not to answer questions.

“This is an opportunity for comment, not for dialogue,” he said.

Let’s be clear; Josh Fox may have a home in Wayne County, but he grew up in and operates from New York City. He’s no Wayne County guy. He ignored, for years, his occupation tax bills assessed by Wayne County and most Damascus Township (my home town) residents detest his hucksterism at their expense. And, how is it that Maya, the Rayburn brat, gets off calling our land 150 miles to the north her watershed? Only by unmitigated gall and arrogance born of privilege and the elitism delegated to her by her rich control-freak special interest benefactors.

The arrogance of the opposition, of course, is nothing less than stunning, but what is especially galling to those of us who know what is really going is this orchestration behind this phony protest. The NJ Sierra Club and the Delaware Riverkeeper are both recipients of money from the William Penn Foundation, which the DRBC is also using, incredibly enough, on the gas issue. Josh Fox is likewise financed by a combination of public and tax-exempt money. The public is being treated to a Potemkin Village protest indirectly planned and put on elite special interests. They are further enabled by the fact the meetings take place in Bucks County where rounding up folks without the need to work for living to do a protest even is just good old-fashioned fun at others’ expense.

The whole enterprise is, in another words, as phony as it can get, put on for the consumption of gullible empathetic media. We can also expect the William Penn Foundation and Heinz’s StateImpactPA to do an obligatory puff piece for their sugar daddy funder.  Don’t expect them to reach out to anyone with a different opinion; like, for example, some of the farmers and landowners impoverished by this collusion of special interests.

Moreover, this is but the latest case of it. Earlier this week StateImpactPA reported the Povertykeeper and their sister Foundation-financed entity, the Clean Air Council, combined with yet another sister, the Mountain Watershed Association (the last two financed by Heinz) was challenging state permits for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. The Clean Air Council statement even quotes the Povertykeeper:

“It is DEP’s job and the Governor’s job to protect our natural resources and the public. Instead, they are once again betraying this obligation and the public trust in favor of aiding the fracked gas and fossil fuel industries in achieving their corporate goals. Environmental groups now have to step in and do the government’s job for them,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

The staggering arrogance of these remarks is only matched by the extent of the collusion involved among her funders and those of her sister entities. It’s a new form of plutocracy, an example of the wealthiest of elites get their way by manipulating events and public agencies, stealing not just the candy but also the bread needed by ordinary folks just trying to make a living off the land. This is fractivism, the phoniest of all causes.

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One thought on “The Arrogant Orchestrated World of Fractivism

  1. Pretty amazing how small the world is. Just like that ride at Disney eh? Jeff Tittell and Maya and Mr. Fox all in the same room? Amazing stuff.

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