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Why Every State Should Care About the DRBC Lawsuit

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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The DRBC lawsuit now before the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals will decide if states surrender their sovereignty to bureaucracies when they enter compacts.

Late last month, I reported here on the status of the DRBC lawsuit, which, following some blistering observations from the district court judge about the DRBC position, was kicked upstairs to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. It was headed there regardless of the outcome and got there roughly a year ahead of time. Now, the case will be decided on its merits. The court will decide if DRBC bureaucrats can expand their definition of “project” to include whatever they choose and whether they can impose moratoriums on what they choose by merely pretending to work on regulations ad infinitum. The court will decide if a bureaucracy created by compact has sovereignty over the compact itself and those who created it. It’s a case that should compel every state that cares about its soverignty to get involved.

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The American Rivers “Most Endangered” Scam

LNG - Tom Shepstone Reports Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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American Rivers, an organization funded by America’s elite with a lot of help from taxpayers, runs a “Most Endangered River” scam that is a complete joke.

National Geographic, which is anything but the non-political image it cultivates, just helped promote one of the stupid pet tricks of the elite; the American Rivers “Most Endangered Rivers” scam. It’s an annual racket, intended to generate publicity using mind-numbed press robots who will faithfully regurgitate American Rivers’ press release as it if was big news.

This was the 34th year of such nonsense and is all too typical. It’s political lobbying dressed up as community caring, wrapped with a shawl of virtue signaling. There are, as usual, 10 “endangered rivers” and, of course, no discussion of who picked them other than the fact it’s “American Rivers,” a name that, in the world of the politically correct, is a warning to the wise not to question or risk being branded anti-river; a leper or untouchable, in the world of the beautiful people.

And, what is No. 5 on the list this year? Well, of course, its a river “endangered” by the “threat” of fracking. It’s the Rappahannock River in Virginia. If National Geographic had bothered to ask what happened to other rivers previously designated as endangered by fracking that might provided a truly interesting story but, naturally, that didn’t happen.

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Speculative Testimony Doesn’t Cut It in Dimock Case

Constitution Pipeline - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Judge in Dimock case orders new trial; plaintiff’s evidence was based on speculative testimony and unable to support the conclusion of the jury.

Last week, Judge Martin Carlson of the Middle District of Pennsylvania kicked asunder one of the pillars of the “Fracking Is Evil” movement when he vacated the jury award of $4.24 million to the plaintiffs in the case of Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.   The jury verdict, in a case actually tried before Judge Carlson, is the culmination of the now famous Dimock, Pennsylvania situation made famous by “environmental activists” like Josh Fox, Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo.  To the movement, “Dimock” has become synonymous with industry negligence and malfeasance.  Judge Carlson’s opinion now casts doubt on that characterization.

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Full Speed Ahead to the 3rd Circuit on DRBC Lawsuit

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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The lawsuit challenging DRBC authority is moving ahead, having taking a big leap forward toward the ultimate decision by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Only 10 months ago I reported on the launch of what I described as a “beautiful thing” – a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) for arbitrarily absconding with the rights and property of Upper Delaware River basin landowners. The case went to Federal Court in Scranton, where the DRBC and its bosom buddy the Delaware Povertykeeper (a/k/a Riverkeeper) challenged the challenge.

The DRBC argued for dismissal on the astounding theory it hadn’t taken any real action to stop drilling. The judge soundly rejected that bizarre theory and used 90% of a 44 page opinion doing so. He then moved the case directly to the Court of Appeals by dismissing the case on language that had yet to be debated, rocketing the case forward for a real decision by the court. No one reading the opinion (please do) can come to any conclusion but that judge rejected DRBC reasoning and kicked the case upstairs.

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PennEast Pipeline Finally Takes the Gloves Off

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

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The PennEast Pipeline is finally talking the way it should; taking the gloves off to call out the Delaware Povertykeeper (a/k/a Riverkeeper for what it is.

As we reported the other day, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed a year ago by THE Delaware Riverkeeper against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The lawsuit aimed to shut down the entire agency by defunding it. The lawsuit claimed FERC can’t objectively make decisions about projects like the Penn East Pipeline (running from the Wilkes-Barre area to New Jersey) because FERC derives some of its operating revenue from the projects it either approves or does not approve. It went nowhere.

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Today’s Delaware Riverkeeper PennEast Stunt An Al Capone Vault Moment?

bob nolan reports on delaware riverkeeperBob Nolan
Wayne County, Pennsylvania, Landowner

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The Delaware Riverkeeper is planning a stupid pet trick at today’s DRBC meeting, a stunt that seems likely to turn out to be its “Al Capone’s Vault” moment. 

Maya van Rossum, the mouthy radical who has designated herself as the Delaware Riverkeeper plans an incredibly stupid pet trick at today’s DRBC meeting. It’s a protest of the PennEast Pipeline to be implemented in bits by a carefully choreographed group of hangers-on who will do what their told and, one by one, stand up to read bits of a rambling diatribe Maya & Co have concocted. You can read the whole thing here and Maya’s detailed instructions here (including her strange “Pura vida” closing).

If you take the time to read it, you’ll probably wish you hadn’t but you’ll understand exactly what a joke the whole Delaware Riverkeeper operation really is. I suspect this stupid stunt could well become its Al Capone’s Secret Vault moment. There’s nothing there.

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No More DRBC Funding Without Permits – Absolutely None!

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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It’s now clear the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has been playing a wretched game the last seven years and Pennsylvania should zero out its funding.

There’s currently a lawsuit underway challenging the authority of the DRBC to regulate land use — specifically, the development and operation of gas well pads in the basin. It has huge implications for the agency. I serve as the Executive Director of a railroad shippers group granted the privilege of offering an amicus curiae brief in the matter. As the case has proceeded, I’ve watched, with great interest, the DRBC’s reaction. It has been to obfuscate and pretend the organization has never stood in the way of permitting gas drilling despite the seven years it has sat on draft regulations it clearly has no intention of ever acting upon. The DRBC has made the case for Pennsylvania that the Commonwealth ought to zero out any funding it is giving the agency.

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The Arrogant Orchestrated World of Fractivism

fractivism - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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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.

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Josh Fox’s Plan to Disrupt: Will the DRBC Surrender to Anarchy Again?

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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Six years ago the DRBC caved and surrendered to anarchy created by Josh Fox and the Povertykeeper refusing to vote on gas. Will anarchy now win again?

It was 2011 when the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) drafted gas drilling regulations only to sit on them. The Commissioners, in an astonishing display of cowardice, surrendered to anarchy created by Josh Fox and the Delaware Povertykeeper, simply refusing to vote. The regulations were anything but reasonable and constituted a massive DRBC power grab but, faced with the opposition of a sniveling producer of smut films and a shill for its sugar-daddy funder, the William Penn Foundation, the agency crumbled anyway.

It was perhaps the worst combined display of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance ever, as Fox grabbed credit for killing economic opportunity in the poorest area of the basin. Now, he’s hoping to resurrect anarchy and force the DRBC back into its secret hiding place. Will they let him? Carol Collier was only too happy to let her friend “Josh” get his way in 2011 when she was running the DRBC. She sympathized with the Povertykeeper, after all, and put that organization on most of her committees even though it had sued the agency. Steve Tambini, her replacement, seems less of her ideological ilk, but he faces his first big test tomorrow.  Continue reading

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Tell the DRBC to Get It Done, NOW, Without Further Delay!

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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It’s time to take action to let the DRBC know just how outrageous their eight years of dawdling in allowing gas drilling to move ahead really is.

Bob Nolan’s guest post this morning makes it clear it’s time to let the DRBC know how Upper Delaware communities and landowners are thoroughly disgusted with the agency’s six years of doing nothing on draft gas drilling regulations. The DRBC also wasted another two years before that in developing a ridiculous set of standards that had everything to do with land use and virtually nothing to do with water use.

Josh Fox is mounting his campaign and we need to do the same. The following is a petition we ask every landowner, every business, every job-seeking resident and every local official to get behind. Your signing of the petition will automatically generate an e-mail to the Secretary of the Commission demanding action.

You imposed an effective moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River basin by virtue of decisions made by your Executive Director some eight years ago and on May 5, 2010 meeting you unanimously directed your staff “to develop draft regulations on well pads in the shales for notice and comment rulemaking and postponed the DRBC’s consideration of well pad dockets until regulations are adopted.” You were presented with draft regulations in September, 2011 and have since refused to vote on them so as to avoid offending special interests.

Altogether, you have had eight very long years to establish a policy on this matter and have utterly failed to the great economic detriment of upper basin landowners and communities with natural gas resources. It is a complete abdication of responsibility and we call upon you to immediately resolve this matter in the manner of your sister agency, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which has regulated water use connected with drilling, with no adverse impact on water quality and no interference in natural gas development so vital to the regional economy.

Do it now!

To the Delaware River Basin Commission

Dear Delaware River Basin Commission Members,

[signature]

398 signatures

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