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Did Cuomo’s Fracking Ban Create A New York Willing to Ban Any Energy Project?

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


Solar and wind energy projects in New York are facing the same struggles natural gas faced years ago; being over regulated and nobody wants them in their town.

In June 2014, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, reaffirmed two lower court rulings that empowers townships and municipalities across the state to strip away property owners’ rights to allow drilling and other energy projects. NY’s high court ruled in the “Middlefield” and “Dryden” cases that local municipalities have the right to regulate energy development within their jurisdictions–where it can and cannot happen.

The seeds planted with the “Dryden” and “Middlefield” cases has sprouted and is now in full bloom–like spring daffodils. So-called “renewable” energy projects are now being blocked using the very same decisions meant to block natural gas drilling–delicious irony that puts a big, fat smile on our face.

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The Clean Air Council’s Environmental Rights Amendment Mischief

DRBC fracking ban - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court gave the Mariner East 2 a victory in a recent decision but also opened the door to Environmental Rights Amendment mischief.

Justice is being perverted in Pennsylvania by wealthy special interest foundations manipulating the system. I’m talking about the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation, two highly political, but supposedly non-political, entities who have their hands in everything; from government to the press.

They operate through shill organizations such as the Delaware Povertykeeper a/k/a Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council, a trust-funder run outfit with an agenda of stopping all oil and gas development in the Commonwealth. The latter just lost a case brought in the Commonwealth Court but buried deep in the decision is an opening to create future mischief with Pennsylvania’s poorly conceived Environmental Rights Amendment.

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Pennsylvania DCNR Land Scandal Gets Worse As PennVest Dissembles

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Pennsylvania DCNR is making a lot of phony claims and using PennVest dollars intended for water and sewer projects to grab land for a wilderness preserve.

The DCNR land grab scandal I wrote about here a few weeks ago, is getting worse. As I noted then, this poorly executed scam to ripoff the taxpayers offers a perfect demonstration of the special interests behind the type of fractivism funded by the Rockefellers and the William Penn Foundation.

They aim to create wilderness playgrounds for the enjoyment of the rich and famous, while profiting handsomely. Pennsylvania DCNR, in fact, is precisely following the model established by the Rockefeller family’s Open Space Institute, which used Empire State Development money intended for economic development to fund a wilderness land grab in New York.

People are starting to notice the DCNR deal, though. They’re asking questions and the answers aren’t good.

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Why Is Pennsylvania DCNR Using PennVest to Make A Northwest PA Wilderness?

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Pennsylvania’s DCNR appears to be using the state’s Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest) to create a private Northwest PA Wilderness with public funds.

I have written here several times about the nature of the wealthy foundations, motivated by special interests, who are behind fractivism. They seek guilt-alleviating power and influence, hope to protect hedge fund investments in “clean energy” and engage in land scams threatened by natural gas development. Those scams are accomplished using public money to create wilderness playgrounds for the rich, with plenty of profit along the way. I detailed here, here and here what’s been happening in New York, with orchestration by the NRDC gang (the Rockefeller family). Now, it could be spreading to Pennsylvania.

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Gas Wars No More: Binghamton University Students Engage on Fracking

Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist


It was “gas wars no more” at Binghamton University where students engaged in a civil discussion about energy and civil engagement. Vic Furman was there.

This past week, another board member of the Joint Landowners Coalition of NY and I  both received an invitation to Binghamton University to speak about our experiences in community civil engagement. We talked with approximately 40 students who attended the discussion.

Not knowing what to expect, I went unprepared; no written material and only a brown jug of water marked “Dimock, Pa.” It was a wise decision.

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API: Let’s Base DRBC Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Sound Science

DRBC HearingStephanie Meadows
Upstream Manager, American Petroleum Institute


API’s Stephanie Meadows testifies at the DRBC hearing asking the DRBC to base their decisions on hydraulic fracturing on sound science not accusations.

Good evening DRBC Commissioners and Staff.

My name is Stephanie Meadows.  I am a Manager in the Upstream Department of the American Petroleum Institute.  I have been working on hydraulic fracturing issues for API since 2008.

Let me start out by making something clear – Our top priority is to provide energy in a safe, technologically sound way with the least possible impact on the environment.  Our members take their responsibility to the surrounding communities seriously and we work with federal and state agencies to develop design standards, recommended practices, and guidance that will improve operational integrity and regulatory processes across the board.

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Marcellus Shale Coalition Calls for Equal Justice for DRBC Landowners

DRBC HearingPatrick Henderson
Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marcellus Shale Coalition


Patrick Henderson, of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, stood up for DRBC landowner rights in his testimony this past Tuesday at the DRBC Hearing in Waymart.

Good afternoon, my name is Patrick Henderson and I serve as the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC).

The MSC was formed in 2008 and is comprised of nearly 200 producing, midstream, transmission and supply chain members who are fully committed to working with local, county, state and federal government officials and regulators to facilitate the development of the natural gas resources in the Marcellus, Utica and related geological formations.

Our members represent thousands of Pennsylvania employees – and by extension tens of thousands of Pennsylvania landowners – who are committed to the safe development, transportation and utilization of domestic natural gas.

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Special Interest Groupies Practice Denial at DRBC Hearings

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Special interest groupies practiced deceit at those DRBC hearings in Waymart on Tuesday while carefully pretending not to see the Blue Whale in the Delaware.

Supporters of an ill-conceived fracking ban who showed up at DRBC hearings in Waymart on Tuesday—the “special interest groupies,” as Fred Peckham so nicely described them—were churning out nonsense in all the usual ways but they were also doing something else. They were engaged in the cliched behavior of “ignoring the elephant in the room,” except that this doesn’t really do justice to the scope of their actions. No, this is much bigger than an elephant; it’s more like ignoring the Blue Whale in the Delaware or the Susquehanna.

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Striking Back at Scandalous DRBC Fracking Ban: Steven Adams

DRBC HearingSteven Adams
Damascus Township Supervisor


This is the testimony of Steven Adams given at the January 23rd DRBC Hearing in Waymart on their proposed fracking ban. Let it speak for itself.

I am addressing this board to present the facts as I understand them.

Under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, it states and I quote, “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

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Striking Back at Scandalous DRBC Fracking Ban: Peter Wynne

DRBC HearingPeter Wynne
Northern Wayne County Landowner


This is the testimony of Peter Wynne given at the January 23rd DRBC Hearing in Waymart on their proposed fracking ban. Let it speak for itself.

As most of you surely know, the Delaware River Basin Commission decided that natural gas wells fell within the commission’s regulatory purview all the way back in May of 2009. And a year later, the five commissions voted unanimously to hold off on any decision whether to permit such wells in the basin until drilling regulations had been adopted.

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