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The DRBC Hearings: Landowners vs. Special Interest Groupies

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


Two of the DRBC hearings on its scandalous proposed fracking ban took place in Waymart, Pennsylvania. It was landowners versus the special interest groupies.

Yesterday afternoon and last night, the Delaware River Basin Commission or DRBC held two of the scheduled DRBC hearings on their proposed fracking ban. The hearings took place at the Salvation Army’s Lake Ladore conference facility under the shadow of the Moosic Mountain separating the DRBC and SRBC watersheds. Both hearings were contests between “special interest groupies”—as NaturalGasNOW reader Fred Peckham accurately characterized them—and local landowners.

Landowners did very well with highly focused testimony exposing DRBC discrimination and hypocrisy. They were somewhat outnumbered by the groupies (or minions as Fred later described them to me) in the afternoon but had the better of the evening session. The  bulk of the groupies represented organizations owing their financial sustenance to Haas, Park, Rockefeller families and their elitist ilk with their plans to make a playground of the land we’ve stewarded and they want.

Others were second-home owners with manhattan addresses, retirees or others who make or have already made their living elsewhere. Their comments parroted the company line that the ban needed to be total but otherwise were standard fare fractivist bullcrap. One even referred to me as “Crapstone.” I’m very accustomed to insults from fractivists but that was a new one and, I must say, rather entertaining.

Among those testifying for landowners and the need for natural gas development to revitalize Wayne County’s economy was Pennsylvania State Representative Jon Fritz, who represents parts of both the DRBC and SRBC regions:

There were numerous other standout performances. Go to the EIDMarcellus Twitter feed and you can watch many of them, the testimony of some which we plan to run as guest posts here. The biggest news made, which may well not have been noticed by many, may have been when State Senator Lisa Baker’s representative testified she was putting the DRBC on notice she was pursuing a legislative remedy to the fracking ban.

She believes it constitutes a taking—an exercise of eminent domain requiring compensation to landowners and she hopes to do something about it through the Pennsylvania Legislature. Baker, like Fritz, is sending Gov. Tom Wolf a message he has no authority to do what he’s doing in slicing off a piece of Pennsylvania and giving it to New York. Stay tuned on that one. Here’s Andrew Seder speaking for Senator Baker:

Damascus Township Supervisors Steve Adams and Dan Rutledge also gave strong testimony, as did Dyberry Township Supervisor Kevin McGinnis (watch for guest posts later today or tomorrow) and Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith.  Here’s Steve Adams testifying:

And, here’s Dan Rutledge:

And Kevin McGinnis:

And, here’s the speech that earned me the monikor of “Crapstone” so you can evaluate for yourself:

There were numerous other people who testified against the ban and I hope to include videos of all them in future posts but, for now, here’s Betty Sutliff:

I don’t have video to share of the fractivists who testified. Frankly, none of their testimony was worth videoing. It was, dare I say, all crap. New Jersey Sierra Club guy Jeff Tittel, who fancies himself oh so, so clever, tried to wow the crowd by calling former Governor Chris Christie a “fossil fool,” which went over like a lead balloon. I prefer Mark Levin’s “Kris Krispie,” a Krispie Kreme reference that is quite funny. Frankly, Tittel’s just not that good at titillating, although the fractivists loved his passion. It’s a mutual nerd admiration society with them, of course.

Tittel apparently brought several New Jersey Sierra Club members with him to the first hearing and took great offense at our Fred Peckham, speaking here:

Titell’s lame comeback? He claimed the only special interest he and his allies at the Riverkeeper, Food and Water Watch, Penn Future, etc. represented was clean water downstream where he lives (e.g., Lambertville). The only problem with that puffery is this; SRBC water quality studies conclude Susquehanna River Basin waters have not been discernibly impacted by thousands of fracked gas wells. There is, in other words, no validity to the presumption made by Tittel and his band of crepehangers and killjoys; no evidence of what he claims to be about.

Meanwhile, we know exactly what the people at the William Penn Foundation, the Park Foundation and the NRDC gang, etc. who fund the fractivist shills want; they want our land as a playground and getting that land demands keeping land prices low and landowners barefoot and desperate. That’s what Fred meant by special interests and he nailed it, titillating Tittel.

The other fractivist testimony at the DRBC hearings fell into the same high-pitched  “fracking kills” hyperbole we’ve heard over the last decade as the SRBC water quality data has rendered it completely false and misleading. I’ll be going through some of those claims in a later post, but suffice it say there was nothing new, nothing that has not been debunked by the hard data and nothing that came close to addressing the fundamental problem with the proposed fracking ban; that it is an arbitrary and capricious political action intended to treat DRBC landowners as second-class citizens, as the economic serfs of elitist special interests.

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One thought on “The DRBC Hearings: Landowners vs. Special Interest Groupies

  1. Tom and fellow rights activist and speakers:

    I was unable to attend as I was involved in a zoning hearing on a gas issue in my own backyard! I did however take the time to listen to all the speakers including those who were featured in the Delaware River Keepers recordings of their paid activist, even Vera Scroggins god help me… My evaluation is that the speakers you feature on NGN were relevant and to the point where upon DRK’s troop said what they thought their employers wanted them to say. In your personal address I heard you say that the lawyer for the DRBC let it slip that the decision was made a month before the hearings and the hearings were just a sham. Perhaps not just posting an article on NGN about the guts of this sham being pulled on landowners you can write and provide the documentation to Fred Dicker, The NYT, and other news sources around both NY and PA. This attack on our constitutional rights must be made public with the water quality findings of the DRBC and SRBC and the fact that 3 board members sit on both boards and the conflict in their judgements from one basin to the next.
    My thanks to all who attended on behalf of the people of NY and PA and their constitutional rights… you went to the Den of Corruption and exposed it….lets not stop there

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