Political Schism Prompts Prominent Drilling Activist to Quit Coalition

  • Susan Phillips

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

A reporter from 6ABC interviews Delaware Riverkeeper Maya von Rossum.


Maya von Rossum, the head of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and a commissioner with the Citizen’s Marcellus Shale Commission, announced today that she’s resigned from her post as a commissioner because the rest of the group refused to support a drilling moratorium. Von Rossum announced her decision through a press release.

“The failure to articulate a need for a moratorium on further drilling and/or drilling permits until needed protections were put in place and needed studies to inform those regulations are done was a conscious oversight.  The lack of publicity over the hearings needed to ensure citizen awareness of the opportunity to speak out on this important issue was another major short coming,” said van Rossum.

Activists created the Citizen’s Commission as an alternative to Governor Corbett’s hand-picked Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which released its own recommendations in July. Drilling foes criticized Corbett’s Commission as stacked with pro-industry voices, and few environmentalists. The Citizen’s Marcellus Shale Commission held its own hearings across the state in September to seek input on gas drilling from Pennsylvania residents.
Chris Lilienthal, a spokesman for the Citizen’s Marcellus Shale Commission, says the group has yet to finalize its recommendations.

“The Citizen Marcellus Shale Commission has not released a final report, so any comment on its content is premature. Commission members have worked tirelessly to complete the report and achieve consensus on recommendations throughout the week.”

The announcement comes just days before the Citizens’ Commission is scheduled to announce its report.The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is the primary force pressuring the Delaware River Basin Commission to extend the current drilling moratorium in the Delaware River watershed.