DRBC Action Is Simply Defensive Move in War for Land

Constitution Pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The DRBC decision yesterday to sometime consider something we haven’t yet seen is getting press but it’s only a defensive move in a bigger war over land.

I don’t have a lot to add to the post I wrote yesterday prior to the DRBC vote on its resolution. It all went as predicted. Tom Wolf betrayed fellow Pennsylvanians, telling them to go pound salt after they failed to pick up on his request for a severance tax bribe, siding with New York second home owners instead. I knew Wolf would be a governor I didn’t much like but I thought he was smarter than this. Turns out he’s just another trust-funder.

But, that’s not why I decided to add an afterthought to this story. What needs to be said is that this is merely a DRBC reaction to the Wayne Land and Minerals Group (WLMG) lawsuit against it. It doesn’t amount to anything and it will have little effect because the lawsuit is where the action is and it will determine the future.

It was quite amazing to watch WBRE’s reporting of the DRBC vote. It was all about the 29 people from the Upper Delaware region who went to DRBC meeting at Bucks County Community College yesterday and were all in favor of what was described as a vote on a ban. The reality is that every person featured as a local resident opposed to fracking and applauding a ban were long-time fractivists from outside the area who moved in, own very little land, and are determined to keep everyone else out. One is an artist and dancer from Manhattan who now has a place here, another was involved with Josh Fox’s Gasland fraud and runs the radical Damascus Citizens group composed of Manhattanites and a third was Alex Lotorto’s father, Alex being a serial protester. Still another was a PennFuture  staff attorney and, of course, all the other usual suspect shills for the William Penn Foundation were there as well.

DRBC

The DRBC “ivory tower” in West Trenton, New Jersey where the lands and rights of Upper Delaware Pennsylvania residents are sacrificed to make a wilderness for Manhattanites and Philadelphians under false pretenses

That was far from the only thing WBRE didn’t get quite right. There was no discussion of the WLMG lawsuit that prompted the DRBC vote or its implications or the oral arguments coming up in November. There was no discussion of the resolution’s obviously deliberate ambiguity. There was no discussion of where the DRBC could possibly claim jurisdiction for a ban if it wanted to do so. There was no discussion of the facts that would have to be assembled as a foundation for such a bold action. There was no mention of the fact two of the parties who voted for this resolution are the same ones who have voted, as the SRBC, to allow fracking and can’t be bothered to look at the water quality data in their own possession showing its perfectly safe for Harrisburg residents to drink that water.

It’s hard to blame WBRE, though. They can’t be expected in such a short story to capture everything and, after all, unlike those 29 fractivists, we weren’t there. We couldn’t afford to take the whole day off to travel to Bucks County. We had to work. There are very few trust-funders, serial protestors, or much of anyone at all with such time on their hands on this side of what is a war for our own land. We have to fight it with our hands tied behind our back and don’t have the luxury of being everywhere there is a camera.

This war, as we’ve explained many times here, is all about who controls the land. Gas drilling isn’t the issue and neither is fracking, water quality or anything of the other sub-texts thrown into in discussions about these matters. Wealthy special interests want to make wildernesses of the areas we call home and where we earn a living. Vivian Krause called it “strategic parkification.” It’s about creating playgrounds for the rich and places for their second and third homes that are undisturbed by the rabble we represent to them. Our boorish plans for economic survival—beef/dairy farming, logging, mining, drilling for gas, building things, fixing things and all that—don’t impress them much. They’re more interested in the arts, idyllic scenery and private reserves where they can congregate with other members of the gentry class and make sweetheart parkland deals with the state.

Their plans demand that nothing we do affect them and nothing except what they approve occur anywhere remotely near them. Think of them as uber-NIMBYs who claim vast chunks of land they both own and want to own as personal property and you won’t go wrong. They would like nothing better than a DRBC acting in the role of a regional super land agency where New Yorkers, Jerseyites and Delawarians can gang up to decide what’s acceptable use of Pennsylvania land upriver or across the river from them. They want the DRBC to be able to overrule the Commonwealth’s own standards based on some vague criteria where 10,000 Manhattanites can by petition stop anything they doesn’t happen to fit their fancy.

This is the essence of what the war is about; if the DRBC can regulate gas well development independent of water withdrawals and disposals, it can regulate anything at all that uses water and regulate any aspect of it. Moreover, the WLMG reply brief for the Third Circuit nicely articulates why this is both unnecessary and contrary to the role the Delaware River Compact provides it. It does so, in part, by looking to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) where the same three members (New York, Pennsylvania and the Army Corps of Engineers) forms the majority and there is a comparable compact:

Unlike the Commission [DRBC], the SRBC does not claim that well pads or gas wells are “projects” that cannot proceed without its review. The SRBC does not purport to preempt state regulation of, and prevent, natural gas development. Rather, as the Commission concedes, the SRBC asserts authority over water withdrawals and consumptive use of water… The SRBC approves the former and charges fees for the later. Unlike the Commission, the SRBC recognizes that its authority is limited to addressing the development and management of water resources; the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PaDEP”) reviews applications for wells pads and gas wells…

Shale gas development has not destroyed water resources, as the Commission and its supporters suggest.  State regulations are comprehensive and demonstrably effective. Contrary to “the sky is falling” rhetoric, the SRBC recently concluded that there have been no discernible impacts on water resources due to shale gas development.

These short paragraphs illustrate what the DRBC is doing when the majority of the members act as the SRBC is quite different than what it proposes on this side of the Moosic Mountain that defines the border between the two watersheds. When these members wear their SRBC hat, they follow the compact in place but when it’s this side of the hill, they defer to political pressure, read things that aren’t there and make a grab for the land and the power to make a wilderness of it for the enjoyment of those who don’t live here and don’t have to make a living here.

DRBC

Tom Wolf: Fracking of the water I drink in the SRBC region? No problem. Fracking in the DRBC region? Oh, no, my New York friends might be offended and we have to protect their water!

That’s where things are. The WLMG lawsuit, which has forced Carol Collier to state what she really believed all along and the DRBC to react by abandoning their endless moratorium and make moves toward a ban, will determine our future. Everything rides on it and it’s all about the jurisdiction of a few to take the land of the many.

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36 thoughts on “DRBC Action Is Simply Defensive Move in War for Land

  1. Here is what is obvious and has been ever since NY under Cuomo via the doh and the dec banned fracking: this isn’t about “fracking” in the sense of is it safe or can be well regulated or not but rather who has the influence to keep the fracking out of their region. NY State wants natural gas but has decided it will not develop it’s own. Mainly because of the wealthy and influential people like mark ruffalo for example and their dominance in the media. It’s obvious that fracking can be done without the world collapsing since that is what is happening all over the country.

    Unfortunately because the environmental and progressive activist worlds overlap, the antifracking movement in NY State and the surrounding region , like the deleware River basin has long been playing the “we are climate change warriors game” even though all of the major environmental organizations knew natural gas Trump’s coal and other fossil fuels in terms of climate change impact because of reduced co2 emissions. They could care less because by rolling opposition to all fossil fuels together, the ngos and “allies” gain more power and can manipulate the press and politicians to bend to their will.

    Without incompetent media and the politicians the movement would have been a failure years ago. However because of Cuomo, martens, the doh commissioner and people like the Maryland legislature along with many other politicians, mostly democrats, the opposite has occurred.

    While many people talked about echochambers, media bias and people living in bubbles, I never would have believed it would be impossible to get the new York or united States press to cover what is happening with this movement and tell the truth about it. Unfortunately i have found that one cannot get reporters to use facts in their reporting, make corrections and more. It’s a sad say for the country indeed. The press can no longer discern what reality and facts are. People make light of this but citizens require information and they have to get it from somewhere.

      • https://energyindepth.org/national/climate-group-natural-gas-largest-driver-u-s-carbon-reductions/

        It is beyond absurd when an industry is doing better news than the people who work in the news business. Here energy in depth is talking about natural gas driving down co2 emissions, one of the more important developments currently happening. At the same time in NY and of course in PA as well particularly with the drbc, a movement which turns reality upside down, deliberately spreads misinformation and more has gained tremendous influence not just with politicians but most importantly perhaps, with the press. If the press cannot get this story told and told straight and the story about the antifracking pipeline resistance movement is both timely and incredibly overdue, I believe this will go down in history as one of the great journalism failures and this is no joke.

  2. The press can discern facts from imagination.
    They will not report the imaginations and illusions of those who are blinded by gas money.
    Imagining these environmental moves are “land-grabs of the wealthy” is a nice conspiracy theory that most rational people can not or will not entertain.
    You refuse to admit to the harms of this Industry and that we must transition to renewables and alternatives that do not harm us or our environment.
    Since you can not admit that, you will not be taken seriously by the majority, the educated, the scientists and caring citizens.
    Keep trying and losing in this arena.
    Instead promote renewable and non-carbon fuels…

    • Wrong. The press cannot discern what the facts are Vera and that is because your movement, which many reporters are sympathetic to, lie directly to reporters and it is also likely because they do not have sufficient time to learn the subjects they are reporting on and therefore rely too much on environmentalists and bad sources. By the way some of the people in your movement also have an inability to discern the facts as well.

  3. i am in the middle of reading Saul Alinsky – rules for radicals – it is the playbook. as you watch things unfold in the news it is like watching a chess game or a ballet because you know the moves

  4. Tom,

    You wrote: “…long-time fractivists from outside the area who moved in, own very little land, and are determined to keep everyone else out. One is an artist and dancer from Manhattan who now has a place here, another was involved with Josh Fox’s Gasland fraud and runs the radical Damascus Citizens group”.

    Since you must be describing me as the “artist and dancer” (it’s been 40 years since I danced), you know via public tax records that my wife and I bought our 25 acres in 1989. Also, I’m not “from Manhattan”, I did live and work there much of my adult life, but I’m “from the Bronx”, from lower middle class/working class origins, having worked my entire life since the age of 14. No trust fund elitist Tom (you fit that bill much more than I, and you clearly are the one who would love to “keep everyone else out”).

    As soon as our house was completed in early 2003, I moved here and this has been my primary residence for the past 14 plus years. All this was way before HVHF in the Marcellus raised its ugly head in Wayne County, so how in your right mind can you call me a “long time activist from outside the area…”?

    The other person you referred to (…runs Damascus Citizens) is a primary resident on 47 acres, and Rolf has owned that property since 1980. How is she a “…long time activist from outside the area…?”. You know us, so why do you persist to create a false narrative about us?

    You on the other hand, own 32 acres in Damascus township. You leased that property where you do not live, while you did not lease the 6 acres where you live? If I’m correct about this leasing arrangement, it is very revealing of your utter hypocrisy, and to your credit, your common sense in this matter. Talk about NIMBY!

    So, my wife and I are primary residents on 25 acres, the other two you mention are primary residents on 47 acres, and you are a primary resident in one Borough on 6 acres, while leasing 32 acres in another Township for extraction, yet you describe us as people who “moved in from another area and own very little land”?

    You are a perfect example of how the oil and gas industry has been its own worst enemy. It really isn’t a wonder why you are hoping for an activist Federal Court decision in your favor to win the day. Maybe I’ll touch base on the WLMG, LLC a bit later.

    • Well, Jim, my family came to the Upper Delaware valley in the late 1700’s so don’t try to tell me your 14 years count for much in the way of heritage. And, I helped Damascus Township buy some of Rolf’s property long before you ever dreamed of coming here. That was before he appeared in Memories Within Miss Aggie as the gravedigger, of course. As for my acreage, you seemed to have ignored my son’s and two brothers’ properties, all part of the farm in our family since the late 1800’s and totaling roughly 200 acres. I would have loved to lease my six acres in Honesdale, as I have a nice beautiful pipeline less than 1/4 mile away that would make it potentially valuable but, unfortunately, Cabot stopped leasing in the neighborhood before I could sign due to fractivists like yourself who want everything 100% their way and effectively collaborated with Carol Collier to deny its our rights despite a complete lack of both authority and evidence of water threats (see SRBC studies).

      • Tom, why don’t you just apologize to me and admit your misinformation?

        As for your irrelevant points, yes, I don’t count your son’s and brother’s land because they are not you. That’s not rocket science Tom, you should be able to comprehend that. You wrote this article, and it is about your land just as it is about ours.

        Whether you would have liked to have leased your paltry six acres where you live or not, you did not, and you live in an area “safe” from fracking.

        You wrote that it is we who “want to keep everyone else out”, when it is you who wants to do that, and it is you who thinks, absurdly, that it matters how long your ancestors have been here.

        Do your ancestors still pay taxes, Tom? Didn’t their descendants inherit the land from them? Talk about silver spoons and elitist trust funders…Are your ancestors the ones who created an economy of “pastoral poverty”? So many victims for so many years, Tom!

        As I mentioned years ago, if your ancestors were anything like you, they were most likely Tories/Loyalists to the British Crown, working against the Patriots fighting the Revolution in 1776.

        You chose just now to say 14 years instead of the almost 29 that we have owned our property, and have paid taxes so children in Wayne County could get an education. Either 14 or 29, and in Rolf’s case, 37 years is a great deal more time than you implied by portraying us as from “outside the area”. What amount of time as primary resident or landowner finally qualifies, in your little mind, as having the right of ownership? I thought this was the United States. I thought paying taxes and voting were the qualifications.

        We do not own “very little land”, Tom. If we do, then you own slightly more very little land than I, and much less than “very little” than Rolf.

        Your post is between a lie and irrelevance when it comes to us.

        You should be ashamed, but you are incapable of such self reflection.

        • I love the way you expose who you really are, Jim. You may comment any time here. For the record, by the way, the ancestor to whom I referred was a member of the New Jersey Blues who were a patriot militia group. He was dirt poor by the way. I do have at least one loyalist in my history. He is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery but, then again, I had another ancestor, buried near the Galleria Mall in Orange County, who was a Captain in the Revolutionary army.

          • Tom, why should I, or anyone who reads your posts believe you, when very little of what you say is true?

            After I referred to your 32 acres in Damascus, and how so many of you entitled lessors had inherited the land, or purchased for fracking profit, you wrote that you paid market value, when on #006811 (15 acres) it shows you bought it in 2008 (right around the time of leasing with Chesapeake), for $22,500, the exact same amount paid for the property in 1990. Since the tax assessment is 42,400, “market value” sounds very fishy.

            More importantly however, is #006813, the sale to you (2005) of which is listed as $1. The assessment on those 17 acres of land is 71,600.

            If anyone goes into all the Shepstones that are your relatives, many of those properties, whether for Patrick or Charles or others? the sale is listed at $0.

            When I look at your heroic WLMG, LLC, I see that Dave Jones purchased the 181 acres in May of 2009 (for fracking and leasing investment obviously), as no residence is on it, just the run down club house) for a whopping $825,000. That’s some starving pastoral poverty! He then sold it to WLMG, LLC in October 2015 for exactly 67% of his purchase price in 2009 ($550,000), so I imagine he still owns 1/3rd? The other main WLMG, LLC guy is Curt Coccodrilli. The WLMG, LLC was only formed (filed) on Sept. 21, 2015, so two weeks after the LLC was created, it purchased the property. Jeez, what large sums of money for people of pastoral poverty!

            Then in early 2016 the WLMG, LLC filed its lawsuit.

            What a group of propagandists and speculators you are.

            As for who is paying the WLMG, LLC lawyers (Overstreet & Nestor PC [Overstreet in Pittsburgh and Nestor in Harrisburg], Joseph Roberet Rydzewski (Hawley), Jeffrey Belardi (Scranton), how expensive are they, let alone four of them from 3 different firms? If WLMG, LLC is paying the fees, and not getting a dollar from the industry, how much money do Curt, Dave and WLMG have?

            Pastoral poverty?

            Get real.

          • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing indeed. You’ve have completed misinterpreted what happened with my purchases. It took me many years to pay that $22,500 and you apparently are unable to decipher a purchase agreement from a deed. Sad. And, of course, you can’t admit you told a bold-faced lie about the funding of the WLMG lawsuit. Suffice it to say it’s the “people’s lawsuit” and, I repeat: there is no industry money involved although I’d dearly like to see some. You haven’t got a clue, Jim.

          • And, why not tell us your source of income, Jim, since you seem so obsessed with mine? Tell me you support yourself with your art.

          • Oh, and I forgot to mention, my ancestor Gilbert Vail, another militia member died in the Battle of Minisink. Surely, you’re familiar with that. He was killed and left a one-year old daughter. Nice to recall these things. Thanks!

    • That’s nice. What about Joe Levine and Jane cyphers? Al Appleton? Where does Damascus citizens for sustainability lawyer reside?

      I guess you can explain why info about fighting fracking was being distributed in Brooklyn on a local site called brooklynian then right? Who visited all the NYC community boards James talking about fracking then and why was this so important if everyone effected lived in pa? Who created the port Ambrose export conspiracy theory? Who testified at the radon pipeline hearing in NYC James?

      • Karen Orlando please act sane.

        I already wrote of Joe Levine and as Jane is his wife, Jane.

        Al Appleton was the head of the NYC DEP around 1990-93? and was instrumental in setting up the FAD agreement in relation to the NYC water supply, which was why he was eager to participate in the fight against fracking first in the NYC watershed, then after Chesapeake withdrew from there, he went onto the fight against fracking in the DRB.

        Where Jeff Zimmerman lives is irrelevant, just as where the WLMG, LLC lawyers live (Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton and Hawley), and where the NWPOA lawyers lived (Phila.). Jeff Zimmerman was expert on the DRBC and was representing groups such as Trout Unlimited in the upper Delaware River. We met him at the DRBC meetings and he became the DCS lawyer.

        NYH20 visited all the local Boards in NYC in order to educate them to the danger posed by the leasing in the NYC watershed, and to help put pressure, if any could be put, on the NYC DEP which is also important in relation to the DRBC. NYC doesn’t have a vote, but its voice is important.

        I don’t follow pipelines, that’s your obsession.

        Any other truly uninformed questions? Keep them to yourself, as that’s it from me to you.

        • Let me know if Jeff Zimmerman showed up with a bunch of loons to protest over in the Rockaways James and if you ever see josh foxs mother tell her I said hi. I met her back in 2012 and I havent just been in two federal dockets with your antifracking movement pals James, I was on two listserve with them as well and have had the great mispleasure of meeting some folks in person or reading nonsense from them in emails, hearing testominies and the news now for years.

          Nyh20 is different from Damascus citizens exactly how James? Joe Levine started both no?

          By the way James your antifracking movement pals created and dispersed a conspiracy theory on the port Ambrose lng import project , that it was secretly for export. That began in the year 2013 and was kept up until Cuomo vetoed that lng import project. Following that veto a pipeline company called Williams introduced a new pipeline expansion proposal to deliver essentially the same amount of domestic natural gas as the port ambrose lng import project would have. (and I don’t have to tell you where that comes from now do I James?) So lying about a proposed lng import project enabled a “fracked” gas pipeline project to come into being. Pretty backwards don’t you think James? That’s pretty much how your movement works. Import is export, non experts like the nyh20 crew and Damascus citizens become experts, up is down and down is up, lies become the truth and natural gas became worse than coal for climate.

          By the way James, the coast guard changed their EIS on the port Ambrose project because of me. Know why? I use facts when i speak, i dont ask uninformed questions and I speak for a reason.

          By the way Maya of deleware riverkeeper was also the port ambrose lng import project listserve. Some of your Damascus friends were in the docket along with united for action folks. I’m sure you know them right?

        • Yes i have seen video of Al Appleton with the antifracking movement James speaking about the Rockaway pipeline at one point. Al it seems talks about things he knows not so much about.

  5. Tom,

    I already told you where I made money during my life, and that it was not from my personal artwork. All that artwork was on top of my “day job”. I know you have not bothered to respond to the examples I gave of your lies, but I would like to think you actually read the comments.

    This is from my comment on your “DRBC Chaos” blog:
    “While making art (not as a career path), I earned money at a full time job for 40 years, formed a business partnership that lasted 30 years, and have enjoyed a relationship/marriage for 36 years. I’ve been a very stable and productive guy, Tom.”

    The custom design, custom manufacturing company I co-founded in 1975 was built up from four of us to approximately 35 employees by the time I sold my shares almost 30 years later. Not very remarkable perhaps, but a good description of an honest, straightforward, custom design, custom manufacturing American small business that is still operating successfully today, 14 years after my departure.

    After my very long non compete agreement finally expired, I became employed by another company with which I still enjoy an association with. .

    On your side, I strongly doubt that you are only paid “a little” by the gas industry (unless you are a trust fund baby), because when I looked at your Shepstone Management website, you are the sole principle (it’s a riot that you use the royal “we” when you list “About Us”, “Our Staff” [which is only you], and “What We Do”.

    On top of that, your list of projects (those that have a date associated with the project), are mostly from 2010 and earlier, with one from 2011, 2014, and the latest one is dated January 2016. Either you have been very inactive in your management company (as you’ve been working your shale gas propagandist job), or you don’t know how to list your projects on a website. I would think it is the inactive angle, and that you just haven’t done many projects these past 8 years.

    As for what you describe as my “bold faced lie” about the funding of the WLMG lawsuit, IF I’m wrong, tell me the source of funding other than the “people’s lawsuit”. After all, how much does it cost in legal fees to have such a high priced law firm as Overstreet & Nestor, as well as two others in Scranton and Hawley? The lawsuit was filed a year and a half ago, WLMG lost the first decision, it is now in appeal. The “Pastoral Poverty People” are paying for that? If I’m wrong, tell me the legal fees and the source of payment, and if it is the “people” in Wayne County, I’ll quickly apologize.

    Tom, there are two major things you are now profoundly hypocritical about concerning fracking in the DRBC. As a tea party/”conservative” person, you are all about States Rights, anti-federal government “interference”, anti-judiciary, legislating from the bench etc., and yet here you are currently faced with 3 of the 4 States that comprise the DRBC, including our PA, voting for the ban, while the Federal ACE is the one vote against. After Christie leaves office in January of 2018, all four states will probably vote for the ban. Do you accept this? No, you whine and whine and whine.

    Then, your only hope is the Federal Court system. You hope for a single judge who is in the pocket of the corporations, especially Oil & Gas. You might just get one, who knows? If/when you lose the appeal, I imagine your “people” will try to take this to the Supreme Court, hoping that a 5-4 decision in the favor of “Corporations are people, my friend” will prevail.

    One doesn’t have to be a “weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.

    As for your ancestors, I can’t believe anything you say.

    Goodbye Tom, this has been a toxic, unrewarding exchange. On to more productive projects.

    • Goodbye, Jim. The only thing toxic has been your refusal to acknowledge you made a bold assertion about lawsuit funding for which you had zero evidence and were completely wrong. You’re also totally wrong about the nature of my consulting practice, although I admit to not updating my list of projects recently. I continue to be involved in a wide variety of activities in both New York and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, other states, working with an equally wide array of associates (hence the royal “we”). I’ll have to update the list when things slow up a bit. Thanks for the insight but I’m sorry to say I have no trust fund and dearly wish I was earning more from the gas industry. As for your various assertions about your own career, I suppose I could employ your childish “I can’t believe you say” but, to be honest, I take you at your word.

    • I wish I found it entertaining james that you came to nyc for the climate march as part of the antifracking and natural gas contingent. Your hypocrisy is staggering. Since there isn’t anyone young looking in this picture with Josh fox I will assume you once knew that no environmentalists said natural gas was worse for climate change and the planet than coal and now some do. Your group Damascus citizens and your antifracking movement and according to this write up you personally are responsible for this but of unreality which could not be more important.

      By the way james, natural gas has been credited with helping to reduce co2 emissions in the united States and it is only right now that it has slightly surpassed coal as the leading source for electricty generation in the country.

      You are wrong about me being “obsessed” with pipelines. I am deeply concerned about what your movement has been doing with the truth for a good reason. Your movement is counterproductive in terms of progress on environmental issues and climate change.

      http://www.damascuscitizensforsustainability.org/2014/09/road-damascus/

      • Karen Orlando, I’m going to reply to you because it gives me the opportunity to provide Tom’s readers with the correct information/statistics regarding the lowering of carbon emissions vs. consumption of nat gas in the U.S. between the years 2005 and 2016.

        The following is part of my follow up letter to the editor at The River Reporter (TRR) that I sent to the paper on July 15 of this year. I sent source links in a previously published TRR letter a few weeks earlier, but they are all readily available, mostly at eia.gov if you wish to check.

        “…Here are the full, pertinent Co2 emissions/gas consumption data for 2005-2016 (I provided links in my original letter):

        2005-2016 has a reduction of Co2 emissions that totals 13.7%

        2007-2009 shows a Co2 emissions reduction of 9.4%, while there is no increased consumption of gas.

        2010-2015 shows a decrease in Co2 emissions of 2.6%, while gas consumption increases almost 20% (22,910,078Mmcf as of 1/1/10 to 27,306,285Mmcf as of 12/31/15)

        2016 shows a decrease of Co2 emissions of 1.7%, while gas consumption increases only .0067%

        These figures are self explanatory.

        Increased consumption of shale gas was an insignificant cause of reduction in Co2 emissions in the U.S. between 2007 and 2016.”

        Since I’m speaking to you, Ms. Orlando, perhaps those figures are not “self explanatory” enough.

        Of the 13.7% reduction in Co2 emissions between 2005 and 2016, 69% of that amount happened by the end of 2009 while there was no increase of gas consumption in the U.S.

        Nat gas could not have been a contributor to this reduction.

        Rather, it was the radical drop in the economy, which is referred to as the “great recession” of 2008-09, and the resulting drop in demand for energy, which caused the coal industry to bring off line a good deal of its 50 plus year old coal fired electric generation plants. This decrease in active “old aged” polluting coal fired plants continued from 2010-16, and indeed, by 2016 energy consumption in general in the U.S. was still lower than it was in 2007, before the recession.

        To further illustrate this disconnect of gas consumption from Co2 emission reduction, from 2010 to 2015 gas consumption increased 20%, while Co2 emissions dropped further only 2.7%. This is followed in 2016 by a further drop of 1.7% in emissions, while there was only a tiny (.0067%) increase in gas consumption.

        The true reasons for the lower Co2 emissions are a continued decrease in overall energy consumption, the decommissioning of old, polluting coal plants, the vast improvements in energy efficient appliances, homes and offices, and large percentage increases in solar and wind electric generation during the past decade, along with the continued use of nuclear powered plants.

        The potential massive extraction of shale gas, the new building of shale gas infrastructure to deliver it, and the burning of shale gas itself are serious problems in relation to climate change, not answers.

        As for my attendance at the NYC Climate Change march along with over 400,000 others, what in God’s name is hypocritical of me for doing that? Al Gore, Kennedy and one or two big name national groups initially expressed support for increased use of shale gas, but they were woefully ignorant on the subject. They were educated by groups such as DCS along with State chapters of their own National organizations, and have long since changed their position. You are way out of date.

        The organizers of that march instructed the anti-fracking contingent to group at a specific location. I went with a friend and writer Stephen Love who took that nice photo you linked to. I saw Josh, and a few of my DCS friends and greeted them. My wife and I marched together.

        I also took a bus from Honesdale this past April to attend the Climate March in Washington, DC. I met Stephen Love down there. Would you like a picture from that? Was that OK with you if I demonstrated my desire for this idiot Trump Administration to acknowledge the fossil fuel impacts on our Earth instead of wallowing in denial?

        It is you, Ms. Orlando, who is ignorant on the subject, and in your words: “counterproductive in terms of progress on environmental issues and climate change”.

        • Here is the link for the reduced Co2 emissions from 2005 through 2009. See p. 11 Table 2
          http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf

          Here is the link reduction in emissions: 2010-16
          https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30712

          An interesting summary from the page is: “U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2016 totaled 5,170 million metric tons (MMmt), 1.7% below their 2015 levels, after dropping 2.7% between 2014 and 2015. These recent decreases are consistent with a decade-long trend, with energy-related CO2 emissions 14% below the 2005 level in 2016.
          As noted in a recent article on energy use, both oil and natural gas consumption were higher in 2016 than in 2015, while coal consumption was significantly lower. Consistent with changes in fuel consumption, energy-related CO2 emissions in 2016 from petroleum and natural gas increased 1.1% and 0.9%, respectively, while coal-related emissions decreased 8.6%.”

          By this we see that decreasing coal consumption is the major reason why emissions dropped. Remember, gas consumption only increased .0067% 2015 to 2016, yet emissions dropped 1.7% (coal emissions dropped 8.6% is the cause, not nat gas increased use).

          Here is the link for the nat gas consumption
          http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9140us2a.htm

          • As if the coal reduction didn’t come about by virtue of cheap gas made possible by fracking.

          • James,

            Your longwinded interpretation or rather reimagining of reality is EXACTLY what I mean when I say your movement is dangerous, misinformed and upside down. Don’t give me a song and dance about Damascus citizens, your movement or Al gore. I’m aware his daughter got arrested with some folks in a natural gas pipeline construction ditch, one was named Dave publow. I met him in 2012. Know who else I also met? Greg muttit who helped write two reports for oil change international last year about natural gas. Know who else karenna was arrested with? The young woman who was injured over the dakota pipeline war.

            Dropping Kennedy’s name is like unimpressive as are references to other enviro groups. Been on list serves with people and know for a fact James just how much groups like the Sierra club as just one example turn reality upside down. Please see their write up about the port Ambrose lng import project (according to the Sierra club it was for export) as an example of misinformation from the Sierra club.

            By the way james new York State increased its use of natrual gas and indeed pipeline capacity to deliver that natrual gas while the fracking debate in NY State was ongoing.

            You’re the one who is misinformed about climate change, co2 emissions reductions and natural gas, not me. You don’t even appear to know the history of the impact and damage from coal just where you live in PA James, so don’t bother attempting to make out like you have anything in the way of real information to offer me about the environment , energy or climate. I could teach you a thing or two but I won’t waste my time as I have dealt with fractivists before.

  6. Tom, the problem with your one sentence response is that it is not relevant to the issue of Co2 emission reduction numbers.. Yes, nat gas has been cheaper since the bottom fell out of the market in 2009 (while your desire is to make it expensive so that shale gas is profitable to extract), but that is another issue.

    Please, stop avoiding the major facts you can’t deny. They are the numbers I linked to.

    1. Between 2005 and 2009 nat gas consumption in the U.S. was static, while Co2 emissions were reduced by 9.4%. Nat Gas replacement of coal had nothing to do with it (in fact nat gas was expensive then), the decline in demand for electricity due to the recession which resulted in the coal industry closing their 50 year and older inefficient, polluting plants due to the lack of demand, had everything to do with it.

    2. by 2015 nat gas consumption rose 20% since 2010, mostly used in the electricity generating sector, but emissions only decreased a further 2.7% approx. over that period. Again, more due to solar and wind coming on line, energy efficiency, and further large old coal plant closings. Energy consumption during this period was still lower than 2007 level.

    3. in 2016, Co2 emissions reduced by another 1.7% while nat gas consumption increased a miniscule .0067%. Coal consumption on the other hand, dropped 8.6%. That, plus the continued increase in solar and wind, but mostly still the simple fact that overall energy consumption was still about 1.5% lower in 2016 than in 2007.

    Good luck manipulating those real numbers, Tom. Instead, I suggest you put a wooden stake in the shale gas “environmentally positive” un-dead fiction, and join the overwhelming science showing that all fossil fuel extraction and burning is mostly responsible for the arriving climate catastrophe.

    • More absurdity from a real climate change denier, I see. As natural gas has replaced coal in the electric generation mix, emissions have down down. I’m sorry your ideological blindness prevents you from acknowledging that simple fact but that’s what deniers do isn’t it?

      • The truth is in the numbers Mr. Shepstone, not in your empty gas industry talking point platitudes.

        To quote Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth”.

        It is laid out clearly and simply in the numbers. Answer the numbers. You can’t. You won’t because the numbers invalidate your propaganda.

        • Hey James. The Sierra club is tweeting something about Canada and the UK today and guess what? It isn’t about phasing out natural gas. It’s about coal. Know why? Because you are the one who is wrong.

          And by the way when Gina McCarthy talked about fracking creating an opportunity to shift from coal she wasn’t speaking in natural gas company platitudes.

          You are under the impression that no one outside or the natural gas industry sees the benefit in natural gas? Think again. Today the new psc head in NY is in rto talking about NY supporting more natural gas consumption for heating.

          You know darn tooting well that the two most recent pipeline expansions into NYC had to do with the switch from heavier heating fuels which was city policy. Know what your groups was doing? Telling people they were going to get killed by radon from the natural gas. Don’t remember that James?

  7. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25392

    The reality James is you and your movement have been fighting natural gas in the exact moment it was possible, largely because or fracking, for natrual gas to dethrone coal as the king in producing electricty in the united States of America. That is your calling card and the history of your movement. Not long ago coals share of that electricty production market was 50% and now it is closer to 30. James Barth likes to pretend he has the moral high ground when it comes to fracking and natural gas but he doesn’t.

  8. Pingback: The Real Climate Change Deniers Are the FractivistsNatural Gas Now

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