The Delaware Povertykeeper and Her House in the Woods

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

The Delaware Povertykeeper or “The Riverkeeper” as she likes to identify herself has a second home in Sullivan County. Tax records say it’s heated with gas!

A puff piece that recently appeared in an on-line magazine called Delaware Currents revealed something new about the Delaware Povertykeeper a/k/a Riverkeeper; that she and her husband own 120+ acres in Sullivan County, New York on the border of the Towns of Highland and Lumberland. This is interesting on several levels, but mostly because tax records say it’s heated with natural gas, something she berates every day.

The Delaware Currents piece labels Maya as a “firebrand.” One person’s firebrand is another’s dirty trickster, of course, but that’s another story. What’s far more interesting is how the Delaware Povertykeeper sees herself. There’s also her house in the woods.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

Maya van Rossum was born far away in India, but since coming back to Pennsylvania when she was 18 months old, she hasn’t strayed too far from the Delaware River watershed.

She grew up in Villanova, Pa., and the stream she knew best growing up was the Ithan Creek, a tributary of Darby Creek, itself a tributary of the Delaware…

Listen to the first words of her book — the acknowledgments:

“I wish to express my immense gratitude to my beautiful Delaware River and to all of the streams, plants, soil, critters, and watershed communities that inspire me…”

Two things to notice: First, it’s more than just human welfare for van Rossum. Second, note the use of the possessive pronoun “my” when she talks about the Delaware. She does that even when she’s chatting about this river…

She is both the Riverkeeper and the executive director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “I have a certain way I manage the organization. It’s river-driven. The advocacy work and the organization is all integrated.” She gets to figure out what funding is OK to take and what to be involved with, insuring that she gets to approve of where the funding and partnerships are coming from — organizations that share the Riverkeeper’s values. “It’s a culture.”

She lives with her family in rural Sullivan County, N.Y., and in Bryn Mawr, Pa., near the Riverkeeper’s headquarters.

I was born in the Callicoon Hospital that literally overlooked the Delaware River, but Maya, born in India, somehow owns the river? This sort of arrogance—no, narcissism—is anything but endearing to anyone but other second-home owners who suppose they, too, now own their vacation land surroundings.

Then, of course, there’s the comment about it being “more than just human welfare.” What? Rocks, critters and trees are more important than us? No, like all extremists, Maya and her adoring profiler just use them as an excuse to pursue their welfare (country homes with no neighbors than necessary) and impose their values on others.

Plus, we learn “she gets to figure what funding to take.” That comment, in addition to being more than a little condescending, also signals who the Delaware Povertykeeper really is; a radical shill for elitist power-craven trust-funders from the Haas, Heinz, Rockefeller and Wallace families who fund the enterprise.

The article also suggests Maya lives with her family in Sullivan County. No, she has a 960 square foot cottage there and lives in a 2,800 square feet home in Bryn Mawr that is valued at over $600,000. It is located over 25 miles from her gas-heated offices in Bristol. Both units have solar panels and no doubt she took advantage of subsidies to do so on her home. Did she also get taxpayer money to put them on that seasonal cottage? If so, that illustrates something we’ve pointed out here before; solar tax credits and incentives, like those associated with hybrid cars, are subsidies for the well-off.

Here’s the thing, though; Sullivan County tax records show this (red added):

Delaware POvertykeeper

Given where the cottage is located, the tax record almost surely refers to propane that she may or may not be using rather than natural gas supplied by a local distribution company or utility. If she is using propane, of course, that fuel is typically produced from natural gas. Tax records for her house in Radburn Township also indicates it is at least partially heated with electric (it has a heat pump plus the solar panels). That electric is largely generated with natural gas. So, she effectively uses fossil fuel all day long, every day, whether she’s living at home, driving to work in her Civic hybrid, working or vacationing. Yet, she spends nearly every waking hour fighting the development of the stuff. Only in America.

Delaware Povertykeeper

Is this Maya’s parking spot outside her natural gas heated offices in Bristol?

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6 thoughts on “The Delaware Povertykeeper and Her House in the Woods

  1. It is always the same for the spoiled wealthy. They really like to have their cake and eat it to. I’m sure Maya is just fine with using the natural gas and fossil fuel generated electricity as long as the source of that fossil fuel is in somebody else’s neighborhood.

  2. (But but but…. You can’t expect us to live what we preach when the world isn’t ready for it)

    This is their argument when you ask them why they haven’t given up the fuel they hate.

    My question is if the world isn’t ready for it why do you preach it yet create the market for natural gas and other fossil fuels?

    Certainly your hypocrisy can be explained other then “were waiting for the technology to catch up” while denying thousands to financially benefit from accessing their mineral rights

  3. Hey Willy
    Face it you are hippycrites!!! Your argument about living within societal conformity while demanding change is weak and cowardly. Your patronage of fossil fuels doesn’t support the change you want but is only keeping your utopia of dirty green energy at bay, the fact Tom points out the hypocrisy of your movement simply is an embarrassment of your failure to comply with your own expectations. You chastise Tom for calling out addresses but you yourself find this practise acceptable as you list the home addresses on your FB so your protesting partners can call and threaten public officials who have office hours at home. You’re a fracking hippycrite in the best definition of the word

  4. The same people scream about prohibiting fracking in their state to anyone who will listen while they burn the natural gas that is a product of fracking from another state. What hypocrites! An y kind of pollution is absolutely fine as long as it isn’t in your backyard.

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