Delaware Riverkeeper Network Press Release on NY State’s Fracking Ban

Photo credit: Adam Welz for CREDO Action

As a new Governor readies himself to take office in Harrisburg, one thing is likely not to change: Pennsylvania’s cozy relationship to big oil and gas and hydraulicfracturing or “fracking.” The Wolf team spoke to Politics PA after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York. If there were any hopes that New York’s move to ban fracking would encourage PA news Democratic governor to follow suit, Wolf’s team seemed unfazed:

When asked by PoliticsPA if he supports the actions of Gov. Cuomo, Wolf’s camp was clear.

“Governor-elect Wolf opposes a ban, and he will work hard to make sure the process is safe,” responded Jeffrey Sheridan, Press Secretary for Wolf’s transition team.

“Pennsylvania’s natural resources should help the commonwealth become an energy leader, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as a magnet for investment and job creation,” he continued. “Governor-elect Wolf’s priority is to ensure that Pennsylvania is an energy leader with all Pennsylvanians sharing in the prosperity.

“Governor-elect Wolf will work to strengthen the rules governing drilling, increase enforcement of the rules, hire more inspectors, and create a health registry to monitor health issues,” Sheridan concluded.

Many anti-fracking organizations in the state were encouraged by New York’s moves, especially given that the state’s decision to ban fracking was based scientific study (read the full Department of Health report here). Here is the press released issued by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network responding to the New York Decision:

New York State Prohibits Fracking:
Delaware Riverkeeper Network Applauds New York’s
Assessment and Conclusion

New York State Governor Cuomo’s Administration presented the conclusions of four years of analysis of high volume hydraulicfracturing (“fracking”) at the Governor’s Cabinet meeting this morning. Howard Zucker, the acting Commissioner of Health, concluded that he could not support fracking for natural gas in New York State, citing the known health effects of the process, and the lack of comprehensive health studies that prove it can be done safely.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will be issuing a final SGEIS in January 2015 with a legally binding prohibition of high volume hydraulic fracturing in the state.  NYDEC Commissioner Joseph Martens cited the unavoidable and immitigable damages that would accompany fracking, the areas that would have to be off-limits due to vulnerable resources,the practical exclusion of many areas due to adopted bans by municipalities,and the lack of economic benefits.

“GovernorCuomo has made the right decision for the right reasons—he required technical analysis and comprehensive inquiry from his Administration’s qualified experts;he gave his agencies the arm’s length they needed from the push and pull of politics; and he allowed science to inform the policy decisions that were needed.  We applaud and thank Governor Cuomo and New York for applying caution and clear-headed reason in reaching this historic decision.   This will surely lead the way for other states, especially Pennsylvania, where a new Governor will be taking the helm and making policy decisions regarding the ravaging impacts of fracking and in the Delaware River Watershed, where a tentative drilling moratorium is in place,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network recently released a report challenging shale gas drilling and fracking performance standards issued by the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a nonprofit partnership of drilling interests and others, which assert shale gas extraction can be undertaken safely if done in compliance with a set of CSSD created standards released last year. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network report includes the analyses of six experts that reviews and challenges the CSSD standards and explains why fracking cannot be done safely.  The report also provides a discussion of the better energy path that is available for fueling our region and country, drawing upon the writings of Dr. Mark Jacobson.   Governor Cuomo stated at today’s Cabinet meeting that he plans to focus on how to support economic stimulation that does not rely on fracking.

The report can be found online at: www.bit.ly/DRN-CSSDExpertReviews
Interviews with the report’s experts have also been prepared and can be found online at: http://bit.ly/DRN-CSSDExpertVideos.

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About Editor, Raging Chicken Press 391 Articles
Kevin Mahoney is the Founder and Editor Zero of Raging Chicken Press. When he's not rabble-rousing on Raging Chicken, he's teaching rhetoric and writing at Kutztown University.

3 Comments on Delaware Riverkeeper Network Press Release on NY State’s Fracking Ban

  1. Imagine a fireside chat between Governor Cuomo and Pennsylvania’s Governor Elect Wolf. Both democrats, both governing states on the Marcellus Shale, both faced with communities struggling with tough economic realities. One state–New York–has enjoyed a moratorium so that decisions about whether or not to engage in HVHF can be weighed soberly and with close attention to the evidence; the other–Pennsylvania–invites in the natural gas industry waving an American flag and declares itself the Saudi Arabia of the Eastern U.S. Imagine too what’s it’s like to live in the “shale fields” of this Pennsylvania whose experience becomes part of the evidence that leads to New York’s ban.
    That is the subject of this fireside chat between governors:

    http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/2014/12/a-fireside-chat-between-governors.html

  2. Two points here that need to be taken seriously in PA:
    1) “Wolf’s spokesman Jeff Sheridan says the incoming governor continues to oppose a ban on fracking.”
    * Meaning he is committed to allow fracking to continue in PA.
    2) “Governor-elect Wolf will work to strengthen the rules governing drilling, increase enforcement of the rules, hire more inspectors, and create a health registry to monitor health issues,” he wrote in an email.”
    *In other words, Will will allow PA residents to be used as ‘lab rats and guinea pigs’ as Wolf ‘monitors’ the already well documented health impacts in PA and other states. That is like saying, there is an acceptable number of people who will become seriously, chronically ill, and may even die that is fair exchange for the tax revenue fracking may generate for the state. I submit that Wolf can not possibly “strengthen the rules governing drilling” when there is no regulatory model that exists that demonstrates that it can be regulated safely, and as history has taught us that whenever a state becomes dependent on an activity for tax revenue, enforcement becomes more lax in order to encourage more of that activity to generate more tax revenue. PA residents and activists need to wake-up and realize that their “seat at Wolf’s negotiating table” is meaningless. At best it will result in more empty feel-good toothless regulatory language intended to quell the growing resistance to unconventional oil and gas extraction and allowing it to continue as Wolf “monitor health issues” as more people, including our children, become seriously ill, and die.
    It’s important to remember that Tom Wolf accepted $273,000 in direct “campaign contributions” from the oil and gas industry, and currently sits on the board of, and is a major shareholder in the IREX Corporation, and construction company that stands to profit by building the KXL.

    Wolf’s severance tax will not cost the oil and gas industry one dime as it will ultimately be passed on to the consumers as rate increases. What it will do is create a “cash cow” for the state to milk and become dependent upon as a source of revenue for “other programs” and essentially institutionalize unconventional oil and gas exploration, extraction, and development. Wolf is first and foremost a “businessman”, and as such, will do what is necessary to generate more tax dollars. In order to accomplish that, we will soon see more “regulations” on paper and enforcement become more lax than it already is.

    The ONLY way to stop this industry from advancing and expanding in PA is for the people to begin adopting “home rule” charters ASAP that will render weak and corrupt township supervisors powerless so communities can enact Community Rights based ordinances that will by-pass the ineffective regulatory agencies like the *DEP, the **EPA, and ***FERC making them irrelevant.

    (*The PA/DEP is funded by the PA Department of Oil and Gas whose revenue is generated from “permit fees” for oil, gas, and coal extraction. **The EPA is funded by congress, and congress is funded by the energy industry. ***FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is NOT a true federal agency since they receive $0 in congressional funding, and 100% of their funding from the oil, gas, and coal industry, the very industry whose activities they are commissioned to “regulate”.)

    I would also like to point out that the job of “regulatory” agencies is to issue permits that allow a measured destruction of the environment by simply attempting to control “the rate of damage”, without controlling “the amount of damage” in order to allow destructive industrial activities to continue.

    It’s the classic example of the “fox guarding the hen house”, which is exactly how it is meant to be. It has been designed to keep concerned citizens trapped inside the regulatory box and navigating the rules that in most cases were written by the industry and implemented by agencies funded by the industry and supported by politicians who are either deeply invested in, and stand to profit personally from the industry’s continued expansion (like Tom Wolf), or reliant on “campaign funding” from the industry to get elected/re-elected (like Tom Corbett and/or pro-industry shills in both parties in the house and the senate.

  3. Homerule charters, zoning and building ordinances are all well and good, but won’t be enough to end fracking once and for all. We need a Constitutional challenge and an impeachment challenge. And if the government doesn’t stop fracking, then we have to shut the government down until it does so. If we have to fill up every jail in the state, and occupy every government building in Harrisburg or any other municipal government building until they see the light, after feeling the heat. Only when the alternative is shown to be more cost effective to continuing business as usual will the government yield to the will of the majority. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive to be conducted safely and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Go to: http://concernedhealthny.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CHPNY-Fracking-Compendium.pdf and to http://thesolutionsproject.org/ Governor elect Wolf are you listening? Do the right thing or you well have hell to pay for you actions. Which side are you on? The gas drillers who gave you $238,000 or “we, the people” who elected you?

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