The “D” in DRBC Is for Deceitful Double-Standards

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


The Delaware River Basin Commission proposes to ban hydraulic fracturing in the basin but it’s just the SRBC with a different hat applying double-standards.

The “D” in DRBC can now truly be said to stand for deceitful double-standards, given a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing that deliberately ignores what its members know to be the facts from also being the governing majority of the SRBC.

Those proposed double-standards, in fact, are being used to inversely condemn the property of thousands of  Pennsylvanians who happen to reside in the one county in the Commonwealth with natural gas resources where they cannot be developed. There’s massive taking—a theft of land and minerals—in progress; one in which the primary tools of the thieves are the blinders they’ve put on themselves so as to not see what’s before their eyes.


I wrote about this theft a month ago, but indulge me to explain further. It’s all really quite simple, so let me just cite the basic facts:

  1. The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), is obligated under its Compact to ensure the availability of water for multiple uses, including economic development. It now proposes, though, in its rule-making notice, to foreclose natural gas development on the theory it “presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to the quality and quantity of surface and ground water resources that have been documented extensively.”
  2. That notice cites questionable data from New York State and ambiguous statements from the EPA as justification and identifies the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) as the source of data on water use. But, it says absolutely nothing about SRBC water quality data, despite the fact there have been over 3,000 gas wells hydraulically fractured in Susquehanna River Basin, including many on the border with the Delaware River Basin.
  3. Three of the members of the DRBC—a governing majority—are also on the SRBC where they likewise constitute a governing majority. Those members are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New York and the Federal government (Army Corps of Engineers). The DRBC and the SRBC are, for all practical purposes, the same entity, operating under virtually the same compact and with similar circumstances, including millions of people who rely upon the resources for drinking water and hundreds of miles of high-quality/exceptional value (“special protection”) waters.
  4. The DRBC as an institution, therefore, is fully knowledgeable of the on-going continuous water quality investigations conducted by the SRBC over the many years now since hydraulic fracturing has been conducted in the Susquehanna River Basin. That data, a report on which was released as recently as September, 2017, says that “the Commission’s remote water quality monitoring network has not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development.”
  5. This fact, though readily accessible to the DRBC and surely well known to it, is nowhere to found in its analysis of the reasons for a ban on hydraulic fracturing. It knows, with full certainty, from the evidence already in its hands, that hydraulic fracturing has not discernibly impacted water quality or quantity in the huge laboratory right next door. It knows, with food for doubt, that gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing can safely conducted in the Delaware River basin but wants to apply a different standard there based purely;y on politics. Its assiduous refusal to acknowledge the facts in its very hands cannot be anything but deliberate given the shared membership of the DRBC and SRBC. This making their action the very epitome of arbitrary and capricious behavior, and an abuse of due process, to say nothing of the fundamental unfairness and unjust nature of the proposal.

Why is the DRBC refusing to see the elephant in the room and insisting on different standards for the Delaware when both basins are major sources of drinking water and exceptional quality? The answer is clear to all who understand the outsized role of the William Penn Foundation and its allies and grantees in the financing of opposition to hydraulic fracturing, as well as the DRBC itself. This proposed fracking ban springs from a desire to make a wilderness of the upper reaches of the Delaware River Basin. Natural gas development, because it will enhance property values, is a threat to realizing that goal.

While I could list a dozen other reasons the proposed fracking ban is improper, it all comes down to an exercise of raw political power demonstrated by the “D” in DRBC—a “D” that stands for the deceitful double-standards being used as the tools of a gigantic land grab—a taking. These 28 words tell us everything.


Some of you may want more background and the following video is one I assembled with that in mind:

Just remember this; the “D” in DRBC stands for the deceitful double-standards the DRBC seeks to apply to the Delaware in its attempt to grab our land. The rest is straw.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “The “D” in DRBC Is for Deceitful Double-Standards

  1. I viewed your video and thank you for publishing it. Since the DRBC was chartered by the federal government to monitor and manage the watershed, it would seem the feds, through the Army Corp of Engineers, could examine politicalization of the agency and take action to keep it in line with it’s original charter. One would think the current administration would be likely to side with you based on the facts you outline. I noticed that the Army Corp voted against establishing a ban. I could not find any information as to why they voted as they did. Hopefully, it was because the Corp believes the agency has no authority to establish a ban. If so, that means the Federal Government could join in support of the Wayne Land & Mineral Group in the Third District court. Sounds like a lobbyist is needed to press the Administration for a position on this matter.

    Thanks for all you do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *