Elected officials, community leaders and residents came together yesterday to offer testimony on the DRBC’s proposed fracking ban and the economic impact it would have.
An important hearing to discuss the DRBC’s proposed permanent ban, was held yesterday at the Camp Ladore Pavilion in Waymart. It was led by House Majority Policy Chairman Kerry Benninghoff and Representative Jonathan Fritz. Rep. Fritz has been passionate about urging the DRBC to reconsider their proposed fracking ban and allow natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. Rep. Fritz pointed out there other basins in the Commonwealth allowing drilling and “landowners are prospering from the natural gas industry, farms are being saved and reinvigorated and small towns are back to work.”
Rep. Fritz also noted a few of the invited testifiers, the Governor’s office, DEP and the DRBC, declined to come. There were seven testifiers present who all gave excellent testimonies and made may good points.
Jim Barbour of the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau said our “farms have been kept in business, agriculture has improved and we have the best roads we’ve ever had thanks to natural gas drilling.”
Wayne County Commissioner and farm owner Brian Smith stated “I never thought that our water quality would become a penalty used against us.”
“The DRBC has already made itself an empire with $30 million in the bank by charging fees for anything and everything while also ripping off its member states for contributions that ought to be reduced to zero.
Now the agency is, slowly but surely, extending its control over land use by suggesting it can be require permits for any amount of water use in the DRBC region if it’s connected to certain enterprises such as natural gas development; or even no water use in the case of pipeline development.
They even now propose prohibiting natural gas development in the DRBC region by formalizing an effective moratorium they accomplished by pretending to engage in the development of regulations with no end in sight after seven years.
The sovereignty of the states themselves is being erased bit by bit as the DRBC grabs more power and establish itself as overlord over the Commonwealth.”
Wayne Pike News covered the hearing and has a link to the hearing in its entirety:
State lawmakers accepted testimony on the potential impact of a permanent drilling ban proposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) at a legislative hearing in Waymart on Tuesday afternoon. The hearing feature two panels with testimonies from local elected officials, residents, and community leaders. Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith gave testimony on the issue. Testifiers discussed the impact such a ban would have on the region’s jobs, economy and access to affordable, domestic energy. Several state official were present, including Representative Jonathan Fritz, who was pleased with the support from the community. To hear the full testimony, click here. (note the video does not start until 19:20)
If there was one over-arching theme to the hearing it was simply this: treating DRBC region communities and landowners differently than SRBC counterparts, when the same three agencies form the governing majority of both, is not only unjust but also was the worst possible example of double-standards. The fact the people employing these double-standards are unelected bureaucrats being directed to take contrary positions against all scientific evidence by governors so political in nature only makes it worse.