Governors from PA-NY-DE Vote to Ban Fracking in Dela. River Basin

Well they did it. Yesterday at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), representatives for the five voting members voted to begin the process of formalizing a permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. It wasn’t unexpected, but it was hotly contested–by both sides in the debate. As we’ve previously chronicled, the DRBC is composed of five voting members: the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The governors all sent people to represent them at the meeting, with clear instructions. The three Democrat governors–Tom Wolf (PA), Andrew Cuomo (NY), and John Carney (DE) all voted in favor of a resolution to take the next step in the process of a permanent ban, voting to adopt a draft resolution MDN previously shared (see DRBC Votes Tomorrow on Permanent Frack Ban Resolution). Gov. Chris Christie’s (NJ) rep abstained from the vote, and the Army Corps, which answers to the White House, voted NO. Steven Tambini, DRBC’s executive director, has clearly lost control of the organization. Or perhaps he never had control to begin with. Tambini urged critics to “withhold judgment” until they see the regulations that Big Green groups cook up. Big Green groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper (aka Maya van Rossum) should be elated–but they still had sourpusses on. They didn’t like language in the resolution that would allow frack wastewater to be hauled/disposed of inside their precious Delaware River Basin playground. Meanwhile, landowners in Wayne and Pike counties in PA are getting the royal shaft–they will never be able to lease their land for drilling. In 2015 PA Gov. Wolf offered to help those landowners, in return for a political quid pro quo–support his severance tax plan (see PA Gov Wolf Offered Deal in ’15 to Open Dela. River Basin Drilling). The landowners did not support Wolf’s loony severance tax plan, so now it’s payback. Wolf is going to strip their property rights away…

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