The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) must really be feeling the pressure and tension of the moment. The commission just announced the delay of a critical vote on natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin by pushing it back from October 21 to November 21, the week of Thanksgiving—a move likely intended to dissuade public participation in the meeting. According to ourExecutive Director Wenonah Hauter:
“As backlash against fracking gains speed, the Delaware River Basin Commission’s decision to delay their vote on the process demonstrates that they are afraid to face the public outcry. It is clear that the commission’s motive for moving its vote to a holiday week is an attempt to preclude the public from attending this historic meeting.”
The DRBC, which oversees the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, is considering whether or not to open up the Delaware River Basin—a source of drinking water for 15 million people on the East coast—to natural gas fracking. This should be a no-brainer for the commission. Why would they want to subject the source of five percent of the U.S. population’s drinking water to the risks of contamination that come from fracking?
The DRBC, which includes the four governors of Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, plus a commander from the North Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has become wedged between the swift and powerful lobby of the oil and gas industry and the will of the people. Consumers in the region submitted 69,000 comments on the draft regulations, demonstrating that no one is taking this decision lightly.
People of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, take note: don’t let the DRBC’s strategy of moving the vote back to November stand in the way of your participation. You can make your voice heard today by taking action at our site