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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]

384 signatures

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Josh Fox Tries to Stave Off Justice for Upper Delaware Landowners

Bob NolanBob Nolan
Wayne County, Pennsylvania, Landowner

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Upper Delaware landowners are fighting back against the injustice of the DRBC sitting on over-the-top gas regulations for years and Josh Fox is flailing. 

Josh Fox, on Friday, put out a call to action to the little swarm of malicious malcontents who follow him to rise up and exercise some mobocracy against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) at its meeting this Wednesday. He titled his screed “Once Again We Are Under the Threat of Fracking.” He called the Delaware “our beautiful watershed” (even though he operates from Brooklyn out of natural gas heated space). He stated “we simply can’t allow DRBC to frack up our river, our land, air and public health,” and repeatedly raised the specter of threats to his drinking water.

The email was another self-indulgent exercise in crying wolf by the attention starved Fox. It was another reminder of how badly Upper Delaware landowners have been treated at the hands of both this chameleon and the DRBC he holds up as the supposed enemy, even though they’ve been on the same team.

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Landowners Sue DRBC and It’s A Beautiful Thing!

DRBC - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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Is justice for DRBC region landowners on the horizon? A lawsuit has been filed against the agency and it’s a beautiful thing; compelling and elegant.

Finally. It’s happened. The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is, at long last, being sued for its outrageous caving to political pressure in failing to adopt already prepared regulations that, while onerous, would have probably allowed landowners to conduct lawful development of their mineral assets. The agency’s power grab is being challenged and, if successful, the lawsuit will forever change the role of the DRBC as it has evolved in recent years. Why? Because the lawsuit directly addresses the gaping hole that exists in the DRBC’s claim of authority to regulate projects with only tangential relationships to the mission specified in the Delaware River Compact; the regulation of water resources. It is a stunningly simple and compelling case – a beautiful thing.

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SRBC Water Study Demonstrates (Again) Gas Drilling Is Safe

PennFuture - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW
   

   

Another SRBC water study indicates gas drilling is safe, raising yet again a question of why the same people pretend they don’t know what to do in the DRBC.

Almost a year ago I wrote a post here pointing out “the DRBC members, the majority of whom also serve on the SRBC, ought to spend some looking at their sister agency’s water quality data,” because the data collected did not indicate any changes in water quality as a result of gas drilling. Now, we have yet another SRBC water study showing the same thing. How much longer will the facts gathered from continuous SRBC water monitoring be ignored as the SRBC Commissioners who switch hats to become DRBC Commissioners bury their heads in the sand to avoid offending the William Penn Foundation and its attack dogs?

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DRBC Caving Into Pressure to Hassle PennEast Pipeline

shel cracker - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

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The DRBC, once again, is ignoring their legal boundaries and acting like they have some sort of power over the approval of the PennEast Pipeline.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), charged with overseeing potential impacts on the Delaware River and the various tributaries that feed it, has once again stepped outside of its legal bounds. The PennEast Pipeline is a $1 billion, 118-mile pipeline from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ–part of it through the Delaware River Basin area.

In 2014 the DRBC tried to tell PennEast and its sponsors that the pipeline will need their approval before it can be built. There’s just one teeny tiny problem with that called the U.S. Constitution. The pipeline is regulated solely by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), not any other agency, including the quasi-governmental DRBC.

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The Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF): Up Close

PITFLauren Parker
Principal, Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc.

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Lauren Parker was one of 48 people appointed to Gov. Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) and provides us with an inside look.

In June of 2015, Pennsylvania Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) announced my appointment to Governor Tom Wolf’s newly created Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF). Governor Wolf followed with his announcement of the full membership for the PITF in early July.

Pennsylvania is slated to undergo a substantial pipeline infrastructure build-out within the next decade, and so an opportunity emerged for the Commonwealth to engage stakeholders in a collaborative process and ensure that positive economic benefits from Pennsylvania’s rich natural resources would more quickly be realized in a responsible way.  I was honored to be Speaker Turzai’s appointee and certainly looked forward to the opportunity to work with various stakeholders on the advancement of pipeline infrastructure in the Commonwealth in a sustainable and responsible manner.

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The Delaware Povertykeeper Launches Junk Science Initiative

TomTom Shepstone
Natural Gas Now

 

The anti-growth Delaware Riverkeeper, a/k/a the Delaware Povertykeeper, is trying to pre-empt lifting of a DRBC moratorium by financing some junk science.

If one wanted to know how fractivist disinformation is made, it was only necessary to participate in webinar of sorts put on by a group of hired guns known as CNA to introduce the latest and worst piece of fractivist junk science to come down the road. Entitled “The Potential Environmental Impact from Fracking in the Delaware River Basin,” the report is a superficial analysis intended to pre-empt any thought by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) of lifting its moratorium on drilling now that it’s under new non-ideological leadership. It is a sterling example of how fractivists, and especially their funders, attempt to manipulate the press with what is utter nonsense of zero credibility with anyone not already on their team.

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Could the Raisin Be The Reason for DRBC to Act?

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

A Supreme Court decision on raisins ought to give the members of the DRBC pause as the agency continues absconding with the property of mineral owners.

The Supreme Court just advanced property rights for all of us and it wasn’t a close decision. It was a major decision involving a ridiculous government program intended to support the price of raisins through government purchases of product to support prices for other product and, while it theoretically involved a case of a physical taking, rather than a regulatory one, there are several things in this decision that provide a strong reason for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to act about those gas drilling regulations that have been sitting on the shelf for four years.

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