Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Politicians may not be in a hurry to break drilling deadlock in the Delaware watershed

Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith leased his farm to an energy company, but has not seen any natural gas production on his land.

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania

Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith leased his farm to an energy company, but has not seen any natural gas production on his land.

Dairy farming doesn’t bring in the money it used to in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. So to make ends meet, farmer Brian Smith is also a school bus driver and a county commissioner.

A few years ago, Smith leased his land in Damascus Township to an energy company looking to tap into deposits of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale below his farm.

Smith said he wanted some financial security for his family of eight. “You start thinking as you turn 50 years old, if something happens to me, how are these kids gonna pay $300,000 to pay off the debt that’s on this farm?”

But in the parts of Pennsylvania that lie in the Delaware River watershed, natural gas drilling has been on hold for more than four years. That’s because the five-member Delaware River Basin Commission, the agency in charge of overseeing the region’s water quality, has been unable to come to a consensus about how to regulate it. The DRBC came close to voting on draft regulations in late November 2011, but the meeting was postponed indefinitely to give the commissioners more time.

For the last two years, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has been the commission’s only vocal “yes” vote. The other commissioners – the governors of New Jersey, New York and Delaware, plus a federal representative from the Army Corps of Engineers – haven’t taken a final stand.

Brian Smith's dairy farm in Damascus Township, Wayne County. Smith also works as a county commissioner and a school bus driver.

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania

Brian Smith's dairy farm in Damascus Township, Wayne County. Smith also works as a county commissioner and a school bus driver.

Rural vs. urban influence

Smith blamed the delay on the influence of people living more than one hundred miles away in Philadelphia and New York City.

“It’s a popular side of the argument to say we want clean water,” Smith said. “It’s an unpopular side of the argument to say we also need to have energy and we also need to move forward with some production of natural gas.”

But environmentalists across the region have continued lobbying to keep the moratorium on drilling in the Delaware watershed.

“It’s helped create a national movement,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. “It’s wakened people in two of the most activist regions in the country.”

The Delaware River and its tributaries provide fresh drinking water for about 15 million people in the four states that make up the watershed. Environmentalists such as Tittel worry the heavy industrial activity that comes with natural gas development will ruin the water supply. So he always has his finger to the wind.

“Our biggest hope will be that Pennsylvania gets a new governor and we can hold things out until that new governor’s in office and we can buy some time to either keep the moratorium going or get regulations that will be strict enough to make sure that if fracking happens, that it’s not going to have the devastating impacts,” Tittel said.

The role of the White House

While it may not be to Governor Corbett’s advantage to wait, it could benefit his fellow commissioners.

Peter Kostmayer has been around the politics of water for a long time. He now works as a CEO for a nonprofit in New York City, but was Bucks County’s democratic congressman for seven terms. A former EPA administrator, he was also part of the fight in the 1970s to include the Delaware in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

If the governors split along party lines – two Republicans and two Democrats – Kostmayer said the Obama administration may have to break the tie.

So far, Obama has seemed reluctant to weigh in. The President supports natural gas development to bring down greenhouse gas emissions, but he has also needed the political support of environmentalists who want to limit use of fossil fuels.

“He may say look, I know environmentalists are opposed to this, but it’s an important piece of our alternative energy project and if we’re going to reduce the amount of oil we’re bringing into this country, we’ve got to find some alternatives. We can’t say no to everything,” Kostmayer said.

In the meantime, Pennsylvania is advocating for natural gas development. Governor Corbett’s Energy Executive, Patrick Henderson, notes Pennsylvania is the only state on the commission to have experience with active drilling.

“There’s a very compelling argument to make that even though there was a comfort level which we thought was there in late 2011, we’ve again done nothing but strengthen environmental standards here in Pennsylvania,” Henderson told StateImpact Pennsylvania in a recent interview.

Holding out for ‘the gold standard’

Not everyone is convinced. If drilling gets approved in the Delaware watershed, the first rigs will most likely be in Pennsylvania. So the other states need to be confident that drilling won’t compromise water quality for their residents.

The commissioners are still hashing out which regulatory tasks will be handled by the DRBC, and which by the states. For example, the state Department of Environmental Protection has more experience regulating well casings. But will other states be comfortable with the way Pennsylvania handles that?

As the debate continues, Pennsylvania is getting impatient. Over the summer, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and Governor Corbett vented frustration in letters to the DRBC. A group of landowners in Wayne County have threatened to sue the commission over the delay.

Delaware Secretary of Environment and Energy Collin O’Mara told StateImpact Pennsylvania it’s not a political standoff.

“Our belief is that there are best practices,” O’Mara said. “You can really reduce the risks and potential impacts and still have access to a lower cost and lower emission source of energy.”

O’Mara insists the commissioners just want to get it right.

“There is an opportunity for us to have a consensus that could really become the gold standard for the country,” O’Mara said.

A map of the Delaware River Basin.

http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/basin/map/

A map of the Delaware River Basin.

Since it was founded in 1961, the commission’s goal has been to get the four states to see the big picture. DRBC spokesman Clarke Rupert said watersheds don’t have political boundaries.

“With the watershed concept, everything is connected, so actions that take place in the upper watershed can have an impact on those who live downstream,” Rupert said.

Former Congressman Peter Kostmayer agrees with that to a point.

“But where he’s wrong is politics is always here,” Kostmayer said. “Politics is a part of this process and there’s no point in trying to take it out. You have to make it work for you.”

The cost of indecision

If the DRBC does approve rules for natural gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed, that doesn’t mean the other three states will be forced to allow it within their borders. But the draft DRBC rules would impose tighter regulations than in other parts of Pennsylvania where drilling is going on.

Dairy Farmer Brian Smith thinks Wayne County may have already missed out on the natural gas boom.

“If and I hope they do have a positive vote to move forward with regulations that would allow it here, I don’t think they’re gonna move right in and say we’ll start drilling tomorrow,” Smith said.

That’s why Pennsylvania wants the DRBC to get a move on and why others are happy to let the stalemate linger.

Comments

  • env121

    The drillers are ruining the waterways in Pennsylvania with their toxic and radioactive waste. We’ve been utterly stupid! We don’t have any right to ruin the waterways all the way down. This should have been a no-brainer from the start. No drilling in the Delaware River Basin. Just because some people are greedy, they don’t have any right to pollute those downstream!

    • Grace Wildermuth

      Your characterization of those who support responsible natural gas drilling in the upper reaches of the Delaware watershed as “greedy” is quite offensive and furthermore, is indicative of the simplified, black & white rhetoric that people throw around as part of the natural gas discourse in the region. There are many in the area just like Commissioner Brian Smith, who work one or even two jobs in addition to farming in order to pay taxes and make a living. Many of those landowners are struggling to hold on to their land. If forced to sell, that land may end up as a housing development, or something equally as environmentally hazardous. The money from responsible natural gas drilling in the area could be the regions best tool for open space preservation, which is important to the health of the river.

      You mentioned that you don’t believe that people have any “right” to pollute those downstream. However, another perspective might assert that the rights of the landowner have been taken away when they are unable to access a resource that they own, and have not been compensated for that restriction. What’s next? Are we going to prohibit landowners from harvesting trees if there is a chance of negative environmental impact if done irresponsibly?

      This is a complex issue with many different perspectives and stakeholders involved. Calling it a “no-brainer” seems insufficient. Instead, let’s acknowledge each other’s concerns and perspectives and attempt to move forward with a more equitable and democratic conversation.

      • Taylor Barry

        Great reply to such a pre indoctrinated responce Grace

      • paulroden

        If fracking is so safe, why are the drillers exempt from the provisions of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Superfund Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act? Where is all this waste water going to be stored? What about the health effects of the radioactive radon in the produced gas that is extracted? Who is going to pay for the restoration and clean up of the these wells once they are spent? What about the impact of burning all of this gas on global climate change? Fracking is just like nuclear power, it is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Just look at Germany’s plan. They are converting to 100 % renewable energy while shutting down all of their nuclear power plants by 2022 and to 100% renewable energy by 2050. If the Germans can do it we can do it. They haven’t wrecked their economy and they are not “starving and freezing in the dark.”

      • env121

        Good. I’m glad you are offended. Maybe you will take time and learn or better yet, visit some of those that have lost everything due to gas drilling. And another thing, There is no such thing as responsible gas drilling. All wells leak! some right away. The rest with time. You cannot keep that silica sand from wandering on your neighbors property.

        It never ceases to amaze me that the folks that sign leases and think it’s perfectly fine to destroy the homes and peaceful enjoyment of their neighbors, along with the health of their neighbors are all up in arms about “their rights”. I’ve seen some of the same folks that are pro-drilling sign leases that most certainly impact their neighbors, who profess to be some of the most religious around. I just don’t know when it became okay to go to church on a Sunday and profess to love thy neighbor, then turn around and sign a lease to poison thy neighbor on Monday.

        Personally, I’d sell my house before I resorted to harming my neighbors.

        If that sounds harsh, you ought to try living with it. That’s harsh!

        • LouInPA

          You want to protect the land. Buy it. I did. I have a large lake on the property. I don’t want to destroy it. I also don’t want to put 100 homes on it or a shopping mall. There is responsible drilling right here in PA. Cuomo in NY is bowing to his rich Dem contributors and doesn’t care about the river. He wants to put a Vegas casino in the Catskills. People are staying warm in Philadelphia because there heating bill is $1000/yr cheaper due to natural gas. There are 60,000 wells in PA and you would think we would all be dead based on Fox-zombies and Sierra Club. If you take a closer look at renewable energies, they are also no “clean” – they are just dirty, mined, manufactured elsewhere.

          • Iris Marie Bloom

            In Philadelphia and elsewhere, low-income people are at terrible risk of being stuck with skyrocketing “natural gas” bills as the coming fracked gas exports succeed in making this unnaturally, temporarily cheap fossil fuel suddenly expensive. That is the #1 goal of the fracking industry right now: not supporting small farms, not supporting natural gas consumers, nothing but export — of natural gas liquids, i.e. propane and ethane, as well as of methane in the form of LNG — so they can profit from the glut created by their over-production of dirty energy.
            I’ve interviewed 35 of the families that have had their lives turned completely upside down by shale gas development in 10 different Pennsylvania counties over the past 3 years (Bedford, Bradford, Butler, Fayette, Henderson, Jefferson, Susquehanna, Tioga, Washington, and Blair) and I can tell you, for absolutely certain, that 99% of the people badly impacted by fracking — people with skin lesions, people who have lost their water, people whose animals have died, people in rural areas with newly diagnosed asthma due to fracking emissions, and people who’ve been forced off their land, out of their beloved homes — are STORIES NEVER TOLD. People are silenced by non-disclosure clauses, by intimidation and by fear; or, when they do speak out, it’s the Russian television station or the French newspaper that reports it, not the U.S. mainstream media. Trust me, the tiny number of people interviewed by Josh Fox are a tiny drop in the bucket of impacted people. The U.S. mainstream media are absolutely not reporting the emerging science or the impacts. If they were, there would be a new story every single day, and the “information gap” between the fracked and the unfracked would stop being the size of the Grand Canyon.
            Mind the gap!
            These are not easy questions, so let’s support our small farmers in every way we can while keeping this DRBC moratorium and every moratorium and ban in place to prevent irreversible harm. The only profiteers are the huge, remote and yes, greedy! multinational corporations making deals with Asian and European countries to lock in export contracts which, once locked, will override ALL our environmental regulations and turn the U.S. into an extraction colony. (Look up “TransPacific Partnership” researched on Democracy Now).Then we’ll really need a Tea Party — a different kind of Tea Party altogether — the kind that fights for our right to control our land, air, water and economy so that we are not all victimized by the fracking export surge. Better yet: stop that surge before it starts. Some economists, like Art Berman, say we have as little as 7 – 13 years total of fracked gas available since 50% of it will be exported: another reason to go to conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy right now so that we have a sustainable energy economy by 2050.

          • paulroden

            Wait a minute! I thought we needed this gas for “our energy independence?” Why are we exporting this gas if we need it here in the US? Only 7 -13 years of gas versus 50 billion years from the sun! Which would you rather have? Is the risk to our water supply worth it for that amount of time for short term profits for the few?

          • Frank Chernega

            “Profits for the few”? HAHAHAHAH!!!! Where have u been all these years? That is how all American and global corporations work. Your singling out of the gas industry reeks of bigotry and discrimination not to mention you have been brainwashed by Josh Fox and his minions. As for “only” 7 – 13 yrs of gas….where on earth did you get that information from the Catskill Mountain Rivercreeper website??? Better Google Dr. Terry Engelder of Penn State University and see what he says about how much nat gas is in the Marcellus. Your sacred INTERMITTENT renewables (YAAA SOLYNDRA!!) won’t be economically viable for at least another 25 – 50 yrs. They are exorbitantly expensive not to mention the 6 – 18 million birds and bats that are killed annually by the 18,000 wind turbines in Spain according to the Spanish Ornithological Society or the 573,000 birds killed annually in the U.S. by wind turbines according to Associated Press. Your side is bulging with propagandists and the super rich who are trying to make life intolerable for landowners nationwide and trying to keep us in the Middle East instead of becoming energy independent. The blood of U.S. service men and women in the Middle East is on your sides hands. Congrats……

          • Jim Miller

            ecowatch.com,governor cuomo just announced one billion for solar enegy for newyork,gag orders on doctors and children of families poisoned from gas well fracking,three people just sued for the poisoning of thier well water,so shove your bullshit up your ass,livestock dropping dead around fracking sites,lets tell the truth you lying bastard,my mom poisoned from working around fracking sites,keep these evil bastards out at all costs.go to fracking hell on youtube and see how many are being poisoned,vote all politicians out responsible for our citizens being poisoned

          • Frank Chernega

            Governor Cuomo listens to the Kennedys and these people – http://nypost.com/2013/03/19/blueblood-agenda/ Solar (SOLYNDRA!!) will not be viable for another 25+ yrs and is intermittent. I know because I have a 5,000 watt array on my roof. At night and cloudy days it is useless. I know people who live in Dimock with wells on their land and their water is FINE. I have visited Dimock numerous times and all I see is brand new barns, houses, cars, farm equipment and beautiful new roads.

          • Jim Miller

            you should have batteries stored electric,stop wasting my fucking time On Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:10:56 -0000

          • Jim Miller

            yeah well our fucking wells are not alright here,so tell your fuckin line of bullshit to someone,i don,t wanna fuckin hear it!
            On Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:10:56 -0000

          • Frank Chernega

            Another dolt who believes all the garbage dished out by Josh Faux and Hollywood. They want to kill drilling in NY so they and all their super rich friends in New York City (Yoko Dontknow, Mark Ruffalo, Debra Winger, etc can keep buying up bankrupt farms in upstate NY to build their huge summer mansions. Parasites all……..

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/veraduerga Vera Scroggins

            give proof of one bankrupt farm they have bought in the past 5 years ! Yoko owns her farm since the 60′s…..are you bankrupt , then offer your farm/home to them and see if they buy it!

          • Frank Chernega

            There is someone I know in a landowner coalition who knows a number of landowners who have lost their land during this hellish moratorium in NY that could have saved their land if drilling was allowed. You own a trailer in Pa and own no land and continue to interfere in my state’s politics and are trying to steal my land rights. Please stay in Pa and do what you do best – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qv2IUc756A http://www.rightwingnews.com/weird/environmental-activist-vera-scroggins-calls-for-parental-pedophilia/ Here’s something for your reading enjoyment, Josh Fox worker bee, that concerns the rich and powerfuls efforts to take our land in upstate – http://nypost.com/2013/03/19/blueblood-agenda/

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/veraduerga Vera Scroggins

            all you can do is smear those who fight for their right to clean water and clean air and most can see through your tactics. And you use Tom Shepstone , who is a paid shill, to write about and smear organizations like NRDC which are helping to keep our natural resources natural and not polluted by corporations which are polluting the planet. Give actual facts; Farms sold for bankruptcy the past five years in NY who have leased and waiting for their big Day. How many ? and why are they bankrupt? Is it only because they can not be drilled and reap extra money to keep up the trend that led to their bankruptcy. you smear with you low blow tactics all you want; I live here. I have to experience this. You don’t. Come and live here and be within 1,000 feet of a gas pad, compressor station…..I have a house for you to rent outside of Montrose, near gas pads and compressor station and the young family with children fled the area and is now renting the house. Interview the families who live with this and find it disturbing, noisy, unhealthy, polluting. Do you dare and have the guts to do so? or just stay in your fantasy that gas drilling will save you all and be the answer to all your woes.

          • Frank Chernega

            Here’s the NRDC mission statement:

            “NRDC’s mission is to safeguard the Earth, its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.” I guess we can trash the NY Dept of Environmental Conservation, the PA DEP, EPA, and all the other state’s environmental depts, eh? The money grubbing (nice touch with donation solicitation right on the front page…..lol) NRDC is nothing more than a group dedicated to the preservation and advancement of land acquisition for the super rich across the country and have ZERO authority to arrest or sentence people to jail. They are nothing more than another NGO that is out to make a buck and act as a front for the wealthy and well to do using their bunch of ambulance chasing lawyers. With RF Kennedy as one of their lawyers and henchmen, this is my proof. I know folks who live in Dimock and they detest what is going on as much as we landowners here in NY do. Something is very wrong when out – of – staters (you) invade other states and try to control and manipulate our political systems. Why NY tolerates this is beyond comprehension. Run for office or become a law enforcement officer instead of bilking people out of their hard earned money like the NRDC does.

        • Grace Wildermuth

          It’s impossible not to hear the stories about those that have been negatively impacted by gas drilling. They are in the news, in our newspapers, and in Josh Fox’s popular documentaries. (And often discredited by scientific studies). What isn’t heard, and what some people refuse to acknowledge, is the people that will lose everything due to the DRBC moratorium. And everything includes their land, which not only is important because it preserves open space, but also because it provides the bucolic setting in the area that allows for their neighbors “peaceful enjoyment.”

          There is such a thing as responsible gas drilling, just not perfect gas drilling. But there is no such thing as perfect solar or perfect winder power either.

          I won’t speculate about other people’s reasons for signing gas leases as you just did, but I will provide an alternate perspective that many I have spoken with have echoed. Rural landowners look around and see their neighbors struggling, see the young people in their community move elsewhere because there are no employment opportunities close to home, see the 7th generation farm down the road turned into a housing development. Supporting economic opportunity is supporting your neighbors and your community. Signing a gas lease can absolutely be done out of love for your neighbors. And it can most certainly be done out of love for the land.

          • KeepTapWaterSafe

            I appreciate your comments, Grace. I absolutely agree that these issues are complex should be discussed with utmost respect for one another. I don’t agree, however, that “responsible drilling” is going to miraculously improve the landscape. Shale gas extraction carries an enormous industrial footprint. Honestly, would you want a wellpad 500 feet from your front door? Just like pro-gas people accuse antis of being unrealistic NIMBYs, i think you are presenting an overly rosy image of a highly polluting process.

          • Grace Wildermuth

            I don’t think that natural gas drilling is perfect, but I would put a wellpad 500 feet from my front door, and here is why. I drive a car, I buy and use products, including this computer, that were made possible by the fossil fuel industry. We use energy, and we need to get it from somewhere. While I look forward to the day that this country can rely solely on renewable energy, that day is not today. And I believe that natural gas is better than the alternatives that are economically viable at the moment. I would surely acknowledge the risks and do everything in my power to mitigate those risks as best I could, like many leaseholders have done through hiring environmental lawyers and forming landowner groups to increase their power in negotiations with the gas companies.

          • FrackDaddy

            Grace, Great comments on this issue. You really get it! But lets not forget a word the Anti’s have excluded from their vocabulary. Reclamation! After the well is complete they come in rip almost everything out, all that is left is about a 20×20 area with a well head and compressor to move the gas down the pipe line. They will plant almost anything you ask for, I asked for fruit tress, and they planted 5 apple and 4 pear trees for me. Even better they put then in a spot, when in bloom I can not even see the compressor. And the pipe line people are even better, the planted 600 yards of alfalfa for the deer at my request. They are just like any other neighbors, treat them with respect and you will get the same, Treat them like garbage and they will return the favor.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/veraduerga Vera Scroggins

            there is no gas pad / site in all of Susquehannna like you describe ! show us your gas pad and invite us there to see your unique site …..where are your brine tanks, heaters, on your site and it is way over 20 x 20 unless you are a conventional gas well and not truly an unconventional one. give us your address so we can see or get an aerial view….when did your gas pad get developed and what is your real name and no excuses why you can not or will not reveal yourself !

          • FrackDaddy

            Vera, Your comment explains just why I choose to post under a screen name! You threaten to come to house and trespass on my property! My whole horse in this race is to keep paid envoi “shills” like you bill and Craig away from peoples PRIVIATE PROPERTY! You are no more than a bully. And I don’t want you that close to my children.

          • env121

            You need to get out of your little haven and visit those that have lost their American Dream. West Virginia is the closest example.

            http://www.coloradoindependent.com/144742/drilling-and-the-american-dream-your-perfect-home-in-a-colorado-gas-patch

          • Ladderback

            The people of the upper Delaware basin have lost their American dream, youi don’t need to go to W. Virginia. You need to get out your little haven.

          • paulroden

            The gas drilling casings are at best designed to last 80 years at best. What happens then? Who is going to pay for the monitoring and cleanup? Once the aquifer is contaminated, there is no way to decontaminate it. Do you want frack waste disposed of by spreading it on your roads as brine because it is declared as having “beneficial use”? Wells and water tables will be contaminated by accidents, well blow outs, the transporting of fracking fluids, “produced water”, “well flowback”, “well brine” and drill cuttings. Municipal water and sewage treatment plants can’t handle these wastes. Injecting it into deep well injection sites causes earthquakes. Does money from leases justify the risk and cost for the few at the expense of 15 million water users downstream? Fracking chemicals can never be filtered or distilled to clean up the water. It is chemically and physically impossible to reclaim this water. Is that what “responsible drilling” is? In PA, there are fewer inspectors with less money to inspect and monitor.these wells. Who is going to pay for all the cancer treatment from the radioactive radon in the gas and the drill cuttings in municipal land fills? Why not invest all of this capital in renewable resources that are safer like wind, solar and biomass fuels? Read the March 2013 issue of the Journal of Power Resources. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs.

          • Frank Chernega

            Can’t believe you’ve swallowed all the crap from Josh Fox’s diatribes….LOL!!!!

          • paulroden

            Do you work for the gas industry? Where do you get your facts from, the American Gas Association? Energy In Depth? I have read the studies. Fracking is not safe. The information on the impact of fracking is being kept from the American people. It is too expensive when you total up the environmental impacts and health impacts. The alternatives are here but the fossil fuel, nuclear power and centralize electric power utilities, have bribed our politicians and are blocking renewable energy because they own our politicians in the state government and in Washington, D.C. Why do you worship the gas drillers so much? I really believe that you have been duped or work for the gas industry and are just a shill for them. An “all of the above energy strategy” is not sustainable for the planet.

          • Frank Chernega

            Here’s where I get my facts from: Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (PhD in physics from MIT) who slams Cornell’s “Fast Tony” Ingraffea’s and Robert Howarth’s diatribe on methane emissions – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hs6eeAtMcEc
            The President of the U.S. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uVGY3sIBsA
            Dr. Lawrence Cathles III, Dr. Larry Brown, and Dr. Andrew Hunter all of Cornell said this about fractivist Ingraffea – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2012/03/02/new-york-times-reversal-cornell-university-research-undermines-hysteria-contention-that-shale-gas-is-dirty/

        • Frank Chernega

          Spoken like a true troglodyte.

        • FrackDaddy

          121- Please provide us some facts to prove your point. I live in Susquehanna County PA, The bore hole is 1134ft from my front door! We have water tests at least every six months since 2010 (well drilled and fracked 2011) the reading are all basically the same. I drink my water, my family drinks the water, I give it to my pets and all my neighbors do the same. NO ONE has any problems and we are happy with the gas companies. It really bothers my that you (I am sure live in a metro area) would even think that people who have this land in their families for 100′s of years (personally settled by my great grandfather around 1880) would not think to look and see what could happen. That’s we formed land groups to make sure we were also protected. But you sit in your nice warm house, use your car, Smart Phone, PC, Tablet, and so on, And act like you know so much more than us “Hillbillies” who could not possibly be smart enough to make a decision by ourselves. But will keep on drilling to keep this country going, So you still have the right to destroy it.

          • http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/ William Huston

            FrackDaddy– you have written many times: “The bore hole is 1134ft from my front door!”

            Can you answer, what sort of bore hole?
            A vertical well which becomes horizontal and fracked?

            Sorry, I question that assertion. Your story just don’t jive. There’s no HVHF “bore hole” within 2,300′ft of your borough.

            http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/2014/01/frack-daddys-story-does-not-jive.html

          • FrackDaddy

            Very nice effort, I am glad you have nothing better to do than read all my comments for the past 3 months. But just like a story from BIll, there are facts missing. LM Boro has no NG drilling you are correct. But the LM address covers all of apolacon (pronounced A-pol-a-kin, Vera cant pronounce it correctly even though she claims to have been in the county over 15 years)township and even goes into Bradford county(look it up). But I am glad I have got to catch you in yet another case of false info.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/veraduerga Vera Scroggins

            just because your water is fine, then come and see your neighbors in Dimock, Lenox, Springville, Auburn, Franklin Forks, who are not fine after gas drilling ! come see them and their water tests and their $38,000 filtration systems given to them by Cabot and with gag orders and they still can’t drink their gas-contaminated water and come see the latest gas well being plugged for leaking casing and meet others who are not fine and not sit on your special spot where you are supposedly okay. Cabot still can not drill in 9 sq. miles in Dimock for all the contamination their drilling did there ; show us your water tests and prove you are not contaminated and want to meet you and your neighbors.

      • Iris Marie Bloom

        Absolutely: that is the purpose of the ongoing Delaware River Basin moratorium: to enable the equitable and democratic conversation to go forward, based on more and more scientific research, while preventing irreversible harm. High-volume hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling on multi-well pads — the new combination of extreme extraction technologies commonly called “fracking” for short — has only been done in any volume in Pennsylvania since 2008, with over 4,400 environmental violations so far and hundreds of cases of drinking water contamination just in these first few years alone.
        That is a plenty good argument for a moratorium, especially since there is such an OVERabundance of fracked gas right now that the industry is desperately pushing to export it overseas. The plastic bag industry is fighting hard to keep fracking going so they can get the cheap ethane (which comes up as part of fracked “natural gas”) they “need” to manufacture enough plastic bags for every man, woman and child in the United States to use 1,000 plastic bags a year or so. That is the insane level of waste created by this overabundance of subsidized extreme fossil fuel extraction, and we need to stop it. We need to “go sane” and leave the remaining fossil fuels in the ground for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to extract in small amounts, slowly, and safely, in case any way is eventually found to do so. That technology does not currently exist — there is no safe way to dispose of the waste — and the harms, unfortunately, last over 10,000 years. That’s why caution is wise and the moratorium essential. Studies show that even where dumping of flowback/ “production brine” (radioactive toxic waste from fracking) is illegal, the stuff makes its way into surface and groundwater along with drilling muds, which kill aquatic organisms and degrade streams.

    • Taylor Barry

      env121. fear is no reason to deny anyone their constitutional rights. You probably feel solar is the answer and advocate for it but read this and hopefully you will question yourself and the lies you have been fed by Josh Fox and Sandra Stiengrabber
      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/31/bankrupt-solar-panel-firm-took-stimulus-money-left-toxic-mess-says-report/
      And as you and your anti progressives repeat the call for a health impact study there have been many done and another is just delay as those completed have shown minimal impacts in comparison to coal or solar and wind. Here is one that just came out this week http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/31/us-britain-health-fracking-idUKBRE99U0KX20131031

      • Iris Marie Bloom

        That’s simply not true. Not one single Health Impact Assessment has been done by any state in the United States regarding shale gas development. Pediatricians of national stature have pointed out that children are much more impacted by the toxic emissions to air, in the form of VOCs — volatile organic chemicals — at every stage of fracking — than adults; and obviously elderly people, pregnant women, people living with chronic disease, etc. are all at particular risk. But even in New York, even after years of debate over regulating this industry, physicians pointed out that the word “child” never appeared in the New York document, over 1,000 pages, about fracking impacts (called the SGEIS — the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement). Health professionals all over the U.S. are calling for Health Impact Assessments to be done at the state level, and not one has been, in fact, done. Meanwhile, all the preliminary data from the health studies that HAVE been done in a few short years — given that many impacts, such as cancer, typically take 20 to 30 years to develop — show that health impacts are more severe and multi-faceted than had been imagined, with multiple pathways for contaminants from arsenic to smog, from radioactive drill cuttings to silica, from barium to benzene.

      • paulroden

        The EPA’s study was stopped. Every study completed has never been acted upon or discussed in the mainstream media. All we hear is propaganda through the commercials and whitewashed news stories. There has been no comprehensive study conducted because it has been blocked by the gas drillers who have bought off the politicians. Court settlements to people who have lost their land and their water have been gagged from speaking. The gas drillers are exempt from compliance to the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Drinking Water and Superfund Acts and “proprietary” protections in the law. What are they trying to hide if these chemicals are so safe? These are not “chemicals you find under your kitchen sink.” VOC’s like benzene, toluene, xylene, or barium chloride, and hydrochloric acid. are not chemicals I want in my drinking water downstream.

    • LouInPA

      I live in PA and already upset with rock snot bloom (algae slime) coming down the Delaware from NY – http://articles.mcall.com/2012-05-04/news/mc-easton-delaware-river-rock-snot-20120504_1_didymo-rock-snot-algae — where’s the outcry?

      • Fred Peckham

        The DRBC finished a study that shows cold water is responsible for the increase in snot rock in the Delaware. Another example of how NYC reservoirs are effecting the ecology of the river with little thought about it! If you want to complain to NYC DEP they are the ones responsible for this!

    • Iris Marie Bloom

      Correct that we don’t have the right to ruin this wonderful watershed. But, this is not an “us vs. them” issue. The farmers trying to hold onto their land should have better choices than to lease to a toxic, polluting, dangerous and powerful climate-destroying industry!! Instead, farmers should be supported to plant forested buffers, to provide wildlife habitat, to grow native plants in areas that are not crop areas, and where possible, to lease some of their land for solar and wind energy.
      Those farmers WOULD have a better choice if we had a sane society which values healthy food, healthy water and healthy air — a healthy future — over and above :”stuff” which is “cheap” only because of the unnatural superabundance of dirty energy. We ALL need to become activists on behalf of the remaining small farmers who do so much to keep our land, water and food healthy. If we switched the astonishing, insane federal subsidies of extreme fossil fuel extraction, processing, and transportation — and put our money into supporting energy efficiency, conservation, and healthy small farms instead, we would be building the healthy future we need.

  • http://www.water-research.net/ Brian Oram

    Agreed – the DRBC can figure out how to manage consumptive water use. That is their role and their expertise. They have zero expertise with respect to managing any industry or manufacturer. I am sorry to say I think environmental pressure is causing them to drag their feet. Also – if you do not like natural gas or fossil fuels – please stop using this includes cars, heat, clothing, plastics, computers, medical devices, etc. My comments to the Commission in 2011 – http://pennsylvania-solutions.blogspot.com/2011/02/comments-on-delaware-river-basin.html There proposed regulations were more like land-use control then a water resource allocation process. If you want to control land-use – buy the land and all the rights.

    • KeepTapWaterSafe

      i think we’ve agreed to disagree on past threads, Brian, but I have to point out that land use rights and water use rights are two different things, as are energy consumption and opposition to extreme fossil fuel extraction. I mean no disrespect but I think 21st century interdependency makes these issues more nuanced and complex.

      • http://www.water-research.net/ Brian Oram

        I think it is critical to discuss issues and we do not have to agree, but this is a landowner issue and water rights issues – they are not separate. When did fossil fuel extraction become extreme? When it came to Delaware River? How much of NY City and Philadelphia is powered by natural gas and why is NY City switching to more natural gas – Water – nearly 40 % of the Delaware is diverted on a daily based to NY to make sewage.

    • paulroden

      The DRBC also has provisions within its jurisdiction on water quality, not just consumption or use. The extraction of billions of gallons of water from the Delaware Water Shed and contamination from the waste water by chemicals and radioactivity, which has already been documented, most recently by a Duke University study, leaves much to be desired by the record of the drilling industry, which is not regulated by the EPA. They are exempt from the provisions of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Act and the Superfund Act. What are they trying to hide when they say their fracking chemicals are “proprietary”? How can regulators protect the public or the public independently monitor their water supply when we don’t even know what chemicals to test for? All the frackers care about is their profits. They don’t give a damn about the environment or people who live downstream and get their water from the Delaware. How much profit is enough for the gas industry? Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Just look at Germany’s plan and record. We don’t need this gas from fracking!

      • http://www.water-research.net/ Brian Oram

        Correct – but no one is proposing to discharge treated flowback or production brines to the Delaware and stormwater is regulated. I would disagree on the exemption issue – my be exempt on the federal level but not the state level. There is disclosure on chemicals used and when necessary proprietary chemicals. Germany not being interested – maybe this is because they do not have much and Russia has so much- http://www.bg-group.com/OurBusiness/OurBusiness/Pages/UnconventionalGasResources.aspx

        • Iris Marie Bloom

          By “Germany’s plan and record” Paul Roden clearly meant their tremendous forward strides in renewable energy use, i.e. solar and wind power! The U.S. has absolutely no excuse for not leaping forward as has Germany, a colder and MUCH less sunny country. Brazil is moving way past us on efficient public transportation. China has moved way past us in use of solar hot water heaters. The U.S. is far behind on conservation and renewable energy for one reason only: the fossil fuel industry, with its extreme extraction, toxic impacts, and extreme profits, has a Pharoah-like power over legislators. The industry’s sway is everywhere — universities, regulatory agencies, media. That’s why the current uprising, based on real science and real impacts, is so fantastic and so needed, from the movement to divest from fossil fuels to grassroots education and lobbying to direct action blockades against multinational fracking corporations in the U.S., Canada, UK, Poland, and elsewhere. There’s a reason New York, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boulder, Quebec, Bulgaria, France, and part of South Africa — to name a few of the hundreds of cities, regions and countries — have banned fracking: it’s bad for air, water, climate, economy, and health. We need to become conservative; it’s fracking in all its phases, aka shale gas and oil development, that is extreme.

      • Frank Chernega

        “We don’t need this gas from fracking!” Great to hear! Just be sure to call the utility company that supplies nat gas to your home and all the rest of those hypocrites that think like you do to do the same.

        • paulroden

          I get my electricity from wind and solar via my local energy distribution company PECO, and Excellon. I don’t have access to natural gas as there is no natural gas pipeline in my community. I wouldn’t want it as it now that it has Marcellus Shale gas with radioactive radon in it. If I had the means to put a solar array and wind turbine, I would, but I am not financially able to afford that at this time. I have two kids in college. I would even add geothermal to the mix if I could afford it. I know of other neighbors who have done either or both to their homes, but they are better able to afford it. The only methane I would support using is from landfills, abandoned coal mines, sewage treatment plants and biodigesters. I suggest reading the work of Jacobson and Delluchi, Emory Lovins and the

          Journal of Power Sources

          Volume 225, 1 March 2013, Pages 60–74

          Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time

          Cory Budischaka, b, , ,

          DeAnna Sewellc,

          Heather Thomsonc,

          Leon Machd,

          Dana E. Veronc,

          Willett Kemptona, c,

          • Frank Chernega

            paulroden – You like many other people have been HAD. Once those electrons from those INTERMITTENT renewable sources mix in with all those other electrons from nuclear and fossil fuel sources, you have no idea where your power came from. This is only a cheap feel good gesture on your part and many others like you. When you get something that looks like this https://www.facebook.com/frank.chernega.7 then, and only then, can you say you are doing your part. Otherwise, you are just another NIMBY who tries telling the rest of us how to live without doing it themselves.

          • paulroden

            I have replaced all of the appliances in my home to the most energy efficient that I can buy. I have switched to all CFL and fluorescent light bulbs. I have added insulation to my house, switched to central air, but mostly use ceiling fans and a whole house fan. I have installed triple paned thermal windows and doors. I have sealed cracks and openings around pipes and wires entering my house. I have added weather stripping to other areas of my house, mostly doors to attics, basement and my garage. I am exploring the purchase of a hybrid or even an electric car for my commute to Philly. I would use public transportation like my wife does but it is not convenient to where I work in Philly. It is great that you have photovoltaic panels on your house. My house does not face South. I will continue to explore that in the future, once my children graduate college in 2014 and 2019. Transportation, Heating, lighting and air conditioning are my biggest bills. So it all comes down to economics in the end.

          • Frank Chernega

            All of your remediation efforts, although commendable, were done by me in 1985 except for the CFLS, which by the way, contain mercury and are not to be thrown away in the household trash but taken somewhere (Home Depot) for proper disposal. I now use LEDS in my home. As for your excuse that your house does not face south is not a valid excuse for not having an array on your roof. The installer of my array which was put in in Dec 2008 stated an array can be put on a home that is facing east/west but is not as well suited as north/south. You have hit the nail on the head so to speak about what this war is all about: economics. The super rich like Yoko Ono, Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, Sandra Steingraber, Debra Winger, Alec Baldwin,
            can afford solar but guess what? With the exception of Ruffalo, none of them have solar. Here’s an overhead of Josh Fox’s house in Milanville, Pa on 739 John Davis Road in Damascus Township in Wayne County PA – http://i1.wp.com/naturalgasnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Screen-Shot-2013-06-10-at-8.22.35-PM.jpg?zoom=1.5&resize=456%2C283 If you doubt this is Fox’s house, go watch Gasland 2 as I did and you will see this is fact the same house with a very unusual tri – level roof and chimney on the left side. Fox is without a doubt the biggest hypocrite in this debate as he tells us all to get off of fossil fuels while he uses electricity and heats with propane, wood, oil, or nat gas all of which are carbon based fuels. He is in this for the money as he is now a multi – millionaire.

  • KeepTapWaterSafe

    one can’t help but wonder if it will be the heavily-vested third party organizations – like Heinz Endowments and The William Penn Foundation – who will ultimately determine the fate of the “Little Giant” watershed

    • LouInPA

      What will break DRBC is exposing its bias and corruption counter to their charter. It’s coming…

    • Fred Peckham

      Not to mention the $$$ given to them by the WPF and HF!! Talk about buying influence!

      • Iris Marie Bloom

        Actually, William Penn Foundation and Heinz Foundation have done some good work but in general, have not been terribly progressive on this issue. They’ve been incredibly cautious, and at times have made major mistakes like getting involved with the CSSD, which betrays a strong pro-industry bias. The recent resignation of Heinz Foundation president Vagt, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, followed two other Heinz resignations in August rumored to be tied to their unfortunate involvement with CSSD. Vagt, who headed the foundation since 2008, failed to fully disclose his ties to the industry, which include serving as a board member for, and holding stock in, a Texas pipeline company.
        We look forward tremendously to increasingly fresh, vigorous and uncorrupted leadership — active, brave leadership — of these and other foundations. Most of us in the grassroots movement — educators, ordinary people, writers, filmmakers, even scientists and health professionals — work for no pay, getting up at 4 AM to get on the bus or train or bike or trolley or whatever it takes, even compromising and using fossil fuel when we have to, to go testify, to go educate, to go interview impacted people, to go listen to engineers, geologists, biochemists and physicians and hydrologists over and over again so we get our facts straight so we can tell it like it is, built alliances, and reach out to become better organized. We do it out of altruism, and these acts of protection, repeated hundreds of thousands of times, are powerful, like water wearing away stone, even in the face of the richest industry on earth.

        • Frank Chernega

          “Getting up at 4am”…..hahahahahahahahahaha!

      • paulroden

        What choice did the DRBC have when Governor Corbett with held PA’s share of their funding? Governor Corbett will do anything for his gas company funders. DEP inspectors have to get his approval before issuing a citation at any well site. With more applications, less funding and fewer inspectors, how will they every provide oversite and protection to the public and the environment? Besides, he has proposed a 5 person oversite board to over rule any regulation that interferes with commerce. Governor Corbett is not out to protect the environment, only gas drillers profits. DEP should be now known as the “Don’t Expect Protection” department.

  • Patrick Henderson

    Since the November 2011 meeting was postponed, PA has done nothing but strengthen an already robust regulatory oversight program. This should have been expanded upon in the article to provide readers with context. Under Governor Corbett’s leadership, the state’s Oil and Gas Act was strengthened to, among other provisions, triple penalty amounts; increase well setback distances from streams, rivers, water wells and buildings; establish a new 1,000 foot setback distance from public drinking water supplies; expand permit notification from 1,000 to 3,000 feet; increase the quality of any impacted water supply replacement; increase the protections to landowners by expanding the ‘rebuttable presumption’ standard from 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet and from 6 months to 12 months; mandate the disclosure of hydraulic fracturing components online and on FracFocus; require water management plans for drilling activity; establish new standards and prohibit certain activities within floodplains; significantly ease the ability of the state to deny, suspend or revoke a permit; etc etc etc.
    Pennsylvania has a strong regulatory oversight of shale gas development that its citizens can be proud of, and which will ensure the protection of the Commonwealth’s air, land and water resources – including those important resources within the Delaware River Basin. The ‘gold standard’ that Commissioner O’Mara rightfully seeks is closer than some realize.
    Patrick Henderson, Energy Executive
    Office of Gov. Tom Corbett

    • paulroden

      Governor Corbet has also proposed a 5 person panel to oversea any barriers to economic development to the Endangered Species Act like fracking as well as overseeing any violation of State environmental regulations from DEP inspectors. Violations and fines can be overturned by his office. He just appointed a former executive from Chesapeake Energy a gas drilling company to head the DCNR in PA after firing the former head for being too pro-environment and objecting to fracking in State Forrest’s and State Park’s. The fox cannot guard the hen house. The record of the fracking industry is abysmal. We need a moratorium at least to investigate the health and environmental impact and to see what the best practices are if fracking can ever be done safely or not. I don’t think the drillers will want to spend the money or the time to do that frankly. Their only concern is profits. They dump contaminated water into storm sewers, spread on dusty roads, dispose of it in municipal water treatment plants that can’t treat it or inject into deep disposal wells that cause earthquakes. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Just look at Germany’s plan. They will be off nuclear power by 2022 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. They are not wrecking their economy or “starving and freezing in the dark”.

      • LouInPA

        Bias? How about Delaware Riverkeeper Director, and uber anti-natual gas Tracy Carluccio working for the DRBC! Where’s the balance?

      • Frank Chernega

        You have alluded to renewables numerous times. Can I assume you have a solar array like this one – https://www.facebook.com/frank.chernega.7 or are you the typical NIMBY hypocrite who tells all the rest of us what to do without doing it yourself?

    • Democritus

      Shale development is risky and defining acceptable risk is a decision for all 15 million of us who depend on the Delaware River for our health and livelihoods. Compare the one time benefit of $400 million from extraction of the non-renewable shale gas underlying the upper Delaware River to the risk that fracking poses to the renewable benefit of $25 billion a year from sales and jobs that only a healthy Delaware River generates. Who exactly are you asking to take that risk?

    • Iris Marie Bloom

      Ha! Saying that regulatory oversight under Corbett is greatly improved is like saying that standards at the Fukushima nuclear plant have greatly improved. Scientists and activists pointed out BEFORE Fukushima was built that it should not be built and would not be safe — but they were not listened to. Now the damage is ongoing and escalating, and no way has yet been found to contain the radioactive materials going into the ocean. The analogy is apt. Tell Governor Corbett, for example, to take a look at just ONE of the many thousands of plastic pit liners he’s authorized to use ALL OVER our beautiful, water-abundant state….to hold radioactive toxic waste produced by fracking. Just one plastic liner that was pulled out in Lycoming County last year had 100 holes. No amount of pathetic claims that Corbett has ever lifted a finger to protect Pennsylvania’s environment could hold up to even that one pit liner. That’s the reality: over 4,400 known violations, over 161 CONFIRMED cases of drinking water contamination, and PA DEP’s own laboratory raising the question of why landowners are not told by the state of PA about ALL the contaminants in their water.
      Pennsylvania is a laughingstock — the industry knows it, and fracked people in shale country know it — in terms of regulations. Corbett’s very first move in office was to lift the moratorium on fracking our fantastic, healthy state forests; he is earning tremendous and widespread hatred right now for allowing fracking in the Loyalsock State Forest in particular. And his very second move was to pass a policy PREVENTING field inspectors from PA DEP to issue “notices of violation” on the ground even when they catch a shale gas operator in the act, like a red sticky substance oozing off a well pad into a stream. We activists FORCED him to overturn that policy — so you really can’t take credit for the things we’ve forced the Corbett Administration to do. Everything Corbett has done of his own volition has been focused on one goal: making extraction, processing, transportation and export of shale gas products — methane, ethane, and propane — easier and cheaper for the industry. He could care less about people’s lives, about ecosystems, or about future generations.
      Unfortunately none of the current gubernatorial candidates “gets it” about shale gas impacts, so it will continue to be up to the grassroots educators to push back against turning large parts of Pennsylvania into “sacrifice zones” for the sake of a few more years of climate-destroying fossil fuels.

  • paulroden

    Governor Corbett has withheld PA’s contribution to DRBC’s budget over their lack of decision on fracking regulations. There still are no disclosures of the chemicals used in fracking, no health studies of the environmental and health impact of the chemicals in the fracking fluid, the radioactive radon in the natural gas extracted by fracking, not plan, cost estimate or site for the long term storage of drill cuttings, “waste water”. “well brine”, “produced water” and “flow back water” from fracking. Where is all of the billions of gallons of water to be used in fracking coming from? What about the flaring at gas wells impact on the environment or the leaking of gas along the many pipelines and pumping stations along the way? The better use of our capital is to invest in renewable energy and conservation which won’t contaminate the drinking water of 15 million citizens, stabilize energy prices, make us more resilient to the fluctuations of the energy market, make us more energy independent, and not contribute to global warming and climate change. But that would cut into the monopoly of the fossil fuel and centralized electric utilities and they own the US political system. People should read the work of Dr. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University who was on the Letterman show on Oct 9 which is on YouTube. In his Nov 2009 article in Scientific American with Dr. Mark Delucchi of the University of California at Davis they have devised a plan to power the planet without fossil fuel or nuclear power by 2030 with existing technology. Germany is embarked on such a plan. They will shut down all of their nuclear plants by 2022 and be a 100% renewable energy by 2050. They are not “starving and freezing in the dark” or wrecking their economy the last time I looked. The only thing we are lacking is not the scientific know how or raw materials, only the political will according to Jacobson and Delucchi. Germany’s Parliament Building in Berlin the Bundestag is powered by solar pvc and biomass diesel generators, while the US Capital building is powered by coal. The Greens to the Conservatives in Germany are united behind their renewable energy policy, why can’t our government do this?

    • LouInPA

      Frack fluid disclosure – http://fracfocus.org/ Wait until Germany gets all jazzed up about solar and then realizes China has cornered the market on the needed rare earth minerals needed to manufacture the panels.

    • Fred Peckham

      It appears you have never read the DRBC proposed regulation or you wouldn’t make the false claims you do!

      As far as Dr Jacobson; The Jacobson et al paper did not show actual calculations of the real costs of the renewables infrastructure. So, on top of the $600 billion dollar capital investment, should we add another $600 billion in the form of Fed tax credits, another $600 billion in state subsidies?

      Just did a little calculation of the capacity sizing requirements in this Fantasy project.

      The authors of theis Fantasy paper assumed a total power load requirement of 60 megawatts. They then proposed an infrastructure of renewables totalling 254 megawatts. That’s four time over capacity, right?

      Wrong. Wind has typical efficiency, over time, of 10% of rated power. Solar has 15% (average calculated to include night time, cloud cover, angle, etc). So applying these efficiency factors, their total infrastructure would come in at 45 megawatts, way short of the 60 megawatt requirement. This does not even take into consideration the peaks and valleys of these intensity fo the energy sources.

      The Fantasy proposal does not work, based on simple math.

      • paulroden

        Then I suggest you read the March 2013 issue of the Journal of Power Resources, Volume 225, 1 March 2013, Pages 60–74
        Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time
        Cory Budischaka, b, , ,
        DeAnna Sewellc,
        Heather Thomsonc,
        Leon Machd,
        Dana E. Veronc,
        Willett Kemptona, c, than. We don’t need this gas from fracking. If we stopped the tax brakes for the fossil fuel industry and the lack of monitoring and inspections because the politicians have sold out to them then maybe we would have a chance to convert our economy to a renewable energy like Germany is doing while shutting down all of their nuclear power plants as well. If Germany can do this, we can do this. We will not wreck our economy or “starve and freeze in the dark” like the energy companies and central electric power companies propaganda says will happen if we try to do this in the US.

  • Ladderback

    First, only 3 States use the water — Delaware uses no river water for drinking. Second, New York City takes water OUT OF the Delaware basin to use in the Hudson Basin and their reservoirs are at the top of the watershed — why should they govern what happens downstream? Finally, if landowners have to provide water for those downstream and have to keep it pure, how about the downstream users make a yearly payment to the upstream property owners for doing it? If landowners produce valuable water on their land, let the users pay for it and everyone will be happy.

    • Iris Marie Bloom

      First, Delaware does withdraw 40 million gallons a day from the Delaware River for public drinking water supply. And the healthy ecological state of the Delaware River, from shad to wetlands health, from state parks to property values, affects the economy of all four states profoundly, as Dr. Gerald Kauffman of the University of Delaware has shown: over $20 billion in “ecosystem services” provided by the River Basin; with over 600,000 jobs with wages at an additional $10 billion.
      Second, it’s far from urban residents alone who are driving this debate, though we are tremendously proud of the 6 Philadelphia City Council resolutions reining in the shale gas industry and calling for an ongoing DRBC and statewide PA moratorium. Actually PASA, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, also calls for a statewide moratorium due to the well-documented scientific evidence that fracking harms not only water, air, and climate, but sickens and kills animals through each phase (drilling, fracturing, emissions to air, compressing and refining, and the unmanageably vast amounts of radioactive toxic waste generated by fracking). See Bamberger and Oswald (Cornell, 2012): “Gas Drilling Impacts on Animal and Human Health.” It is farmers, rural landowners, fishers, hikers and admirers of all 330 miles of the great Delaware River, in its healthy state — as well as all of us who DRINK that water — who have pushed all four governors and President Obama to prevent fracking in the Delaware River Basin. We won that debate on November 21st 2011, after three years of tremendously hard work, which Colaneri failed to mention, and will celebrate that victory again this month.

      • Ladderback

        You are going to have to prove to me that the State of Delaware gets 40 million gpd from the Delaware river. The “salt line” on the river extends to the Pa border. You may be confusing the “basin” with the river.

        • Iris Marie Bloom

          Absolutely right! I left out the word “Basin”! thanks for the good catch, I don’t want to misrepresent Dr. Kauffman’s excellent work on the value of the River Basin, which is spot on.

          • Ladderback

            My point still is that Delaware State does not drink the Delaware’s water yet wants to regulate drilling at the headwaters. You also did not agree to pay those who keep your water pure, yet who are kept from using their land so that the water CAN be kept pure.

      • Jim Miller

        yeah and they want to frack with 750 toxic chemicals used in fracking,including ethylene glycol[antifreeze] and benzene among others,known to cause leukemia,this is your politicians putting gag orders on doctors and trade law secrets in place to hide the toxic chemicals,gag orders on children of families poisoned to shut them up,vote these evil bastards out of office,get on your media and warn people,get the word out

    • paulroden

      I already pay for my water and sewage treatment to the Falls Township Water and Sewer Authority. I have a water meter that is checked quarterly. Depending on the weather and levels in the Delaware River where my water comes from, restrictions on watering lawns, gardens and car washing are put into effect. Stormwater flow, agricultural and pavement runoffs are other issues effecting the Delaware River Basin Watersheds. A better use of the land for farm and landowners would be to invest in developing smart grids, putting solar panels on their roofs, capturing the methane from their feedlots of their animals, developing digesters for creating methane and alcohol for their fuel and wind farms. This is what they are doing in Germany. Farmers are becoming more diverse in what they grow and raise besides food and animals. Growing rape seed or what we call canola seed for canola oil for biodiesel is another product in the mix. Biodiesel from canola oil can power tractors, trucks and cars or diesel powered trains. Electricity can be generated from the biodiesel or from the methane from feedlots, landfills, sewage treatment plants and from biodigesters. Some rural villages, create co-generation plants generating not only electricity for their farms, homes and business but heat to warm them or for industrial processes and agricultural processing. The leftovers can be returned to the soil as fertilizer. This is a more sustainable model that is less toxic, and more in harmony with the ecosystems of the planet. Injecting chemicals into the Earth to extract gas and oil increases global warming, allowing methane to escape into the atmosphere doesn’t help the environment and just adds to the wasteful, throw away society that is a threat to the planet as a whole. “Drill baby drill” and an “all of the above energy policy” is suicide.

      • Ladderback

        You don’t know much about the land in the upper Delaware, do you? Despite this, you know exactly what they should grow. The land is rocky with little topsoil. Dairy farms growing hay worked well, but now you need factory farms so there goes the milk and the methane. I suggest that you move to the upper reaches and show these dolts how to do it the right way.

        • paulroden

          Then I suggest you visit Germany or Austria. All of these countries have similar terrain and topography. They are implementing these ideas and some villages in Germany and Austria are totally energy independent. They are at a higher latitude then most of the US, yet they still install more solar panels everywhere you go, not just solar farms but every roof top, garage and parking lot. A distant relative of mine in the Catskills, diversified into pigs and chickens besides dairy cows because of the prices. He was able to employ his kids and eventually 5 others before selling his farm when he retired. It is a hard life. None of his kids work in agriculture now. Why are you such a “nattering nabob of negativism?”

          • Ladderback

            Similar terrain and topography has nothing to do with soil — or sunshine. Check out both in the upper reaches. Your friend’s kids don’t work in agriculture after that soaring story? Why you nattering nabob, you.

      • Frank Chernega

        You have watched far too many re-runs of Gasland and Gasland 2.

  • fredweiss

    I assume the residents of the DRB or those downstream have no problem *using* natural gas or of benefiting in other ways from the vast new abundance now available and the lower cost. There is now some similar irony in Vermont – which in a futile gesture banned fracking – but where now many towns are clamoring for a connection to a new proposed pipeline. Or of Loco Ono and other residents of NYC – which polls show oppose fracking – which are enjoying the lower costs and reduced emissions of natural gas in comparison to heating oil and will now continue to do so with the completion of the Spectra pipeline into the city.

    No one says you have to use natural gas or any other fossil fuels. But if you do, then accept the fact that it has to be produced, processed, and distributed somewhere and somehow. In much of the world which pays 3x what we do for gas, they envy us our new found wealth and the opportunities it provides us. If solar and wind were viable alternatives they wouldn’t need subsidies (and they are discovering they can’t afford them in Europe).

    We have benefited from fossil fuels for 150 years and – despite its messiness – it has contributed to a doubling of our life expectancy and a skyrocketing of our standard of living unparalleled in history. It can continue to do so for many decades into the future.

    • KeepTapWaterSafe

      We’ve entered an era of Extreme Fossil Fuel extraction – far more polluting and toxic. We’ve used up all the fossil fuels that are easy to extract, so future extraction will require more and more extreme methods, like fracking and deep sea drilling. We’re perilously close to the atmospheric Carbon tipping point, yet some of us are still intent on burning up every last lick of fossil fuels on the planet. Seems foolish and self-centered to me – I say leave it in the ground! I have more faith in human ingenuity than the questionable benefits of fossil fuels. We can change our energy consumption, make money and make the world a cleaner, safe place. Fossil fuels are so 20th century…

      • SideShowBob

        Yeah KeepTapWaterSafe…..and you Luddites are so 19th century.

  • Frank Chernega

    The enviros are worried that the water for 15 million people will be damaged by drilling. I can’t wait for them to show the same concern for the aging nuclear plant at Indian Point that is only 38 miles upstream from NYC on the Hudson.

    • paulroden

      Nuclear power has to be stopped also. It is also too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Germany is shutting down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022 and converting to renewable energy by 2050. The German Parliament building is powered by a combination of photovoltaic and biodiesel energy fueled by canola oil(rape seed in Germany) The political parties in Germany from left to right, from the Greens to the Conservatives, are united by this policy. In contrast the US Capital is powered by coal. If the Germans can do this we can do it. The technology and the resources are there. What we are lacking is the “political will”, because the energy companies own our politicians, control the media and brainwash the American public to believe we need this natural gas as a “transition fuel” and for “our energy independence”. They also tell us that it is “economical” and “clean”. Which are all lies. They said the same thing about nuclear power. They also told us back in the 1950′s that nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter.”

    • FrackDaddy

      Lets not forget those 15 million people already ruined their own water supply, So now they want to destroy the lives of tens of thousands of people so they do have to take responsibility for the mess they have already created.

      • Frank Chernega

        Yep, that is New York City to a T. 15 million people squeezed together like rats and they have the gall to tell us in upstate NY and northern PA what we can do with OUR land. NYC is going like gangbusters switching all their coal and oil fired power systems over to nat gas and then they have the nerve to say that fracking should be banned. WOW!

  • Jim Miller

    corbett has sold us out to big profits,gag orders on doctors,gag orders on children of families poisoned,my mom one of them she worked for fracking sites in pa. now she has severe vomiting,open sore lesions,people all over pennsylvania,texas,colorado,west virgina,ohio, all being poisoned,go to ecowatch.com for all frackingnews,go to fracking hell on youtube and see how many being poisoned,access my channel,liljon and see video of my mom 76 years old poisoned!the dep is the ones approving the sites,vote these evil greedy politicians out of office,abolish gag orders and trade law secrets,go on facebook tv and newspaper sites,warn your communities,once in your communities your finished people like this sold out to these evil greedy gas companies have no idea what their in for!

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