Just in time for Turkey Day: Next week, on Monday, 21 November 2011, the Delaware River Basic Commission’s five members will cast their votes on fracking the Delaware. To frack the Delaware is to frack the DRB Compact itself– twice. It’s a good thing that thousands of humans will be in Trenton protesting ! (Click here to get involved.)
First off, if you want an overview of the DRB, then go here. If you want to read the entire DRB Compact, then go here. Next, the two main DRB problems are below. (I am sure there are more. Heck, I’m just a dog, and a three-legged one at that.)
The DRB Compact is supposed to govern the DRB Commission. It states very clearly that (1.) the DRBC must prohibit pollution of the basin, and that (2.) the DRBC cannot entertain members who benefit from the pollution itself!
PROBLEM 1. The DRB Compact specifically prohibits the Commission from polluting the waters of the basin. The DRB Commissioners have to take an oath, a “covenant and pledge” to “prohibit and control pollution of the waters of the basin” according to Article 5 (“Pollution Control”).
Voting to frack the DRB is voting to break that oath. Two federal agencies have already proven that “fracking” pollutes groundwater. Unconventional shale gas development (“fracking”) has contaminated wells in PA (see here for federal report; also, for long-term contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming’s aquifer, see the EPA report here). Therefore, the DRB cannot commit to fracking in the basin given the known short-term and long-term contamination results.
PROBLEM 2. The DRB Compact specifically prohibits any commissioner, officer, or employee of the DRBC from gaining any direct or indirect benefit from the commission’s actions. To profit money or privilege is a “prohibited activity” for Commissioners and is defined broadly in Article 14, the General Provisions. It is 14.8.a. It is being violated.
Tom Corbett must give-up either his vote or give-up all his ties to the natural gas industry– as would any other voter on the DRBC. Tom Corbett is the epitome of what it means to gain “appointment, promotion, or privilege” on the DRB Commission because Tom was put in office (and thus on the DRB Commission) by an industry-funded campaign. It’s that simple, and if you have any doubt about Corbett’s financial investment, all you have to do is look at his $1.6m received from the natural gas industry.
It’s time to cross the Delaware again. Come to PA… you won’t have to go too far to see that fracking is much, much more than just “fracking.”