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Fall into Action: Don’t Drill the Delaware

November 3, 2011

Fall into Action:  Don’t Drill the Delaware

What:  Call Governor Christie at (609) 292-6000, or toll-free at (877) 559-7809

When: Thursday November 3rd (until Nov. 18th, 2011)

Why:  Gov. Christie must vote to maintain MORATORIUM in Delaware River Basin on November 21st, and if he doesn’t divest himself of stock which turns a profit from fracking’s expansion he should recuse himself from the vote!

Background:  Today we begin by targeting Delaware River Basin Commission voter and decision-maker Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Calling the governors and telling them that you don’t support high-volume hydraulic fracturing, and that you don’t want them to drill in the Delaware watershed for shale gas is good, but calling with a very specific angle is better.

It has recently been brought to light by the sharp research of the New Jersey Sierra Club–and THANKS to them~ GREAT WORK!!–that Governor Christie has invested in a company that recycles fracking wastewater.  This information was released on 24 October 2011 through NPR.

This article states that NJ Governor Christie profited $28,000 from his ownership of stock in this particular company, according to his 2010 tax return.  Now this is not millions of dollars, but it is considerable income for one person, from a single investment.  This revelation exposes a significant conflict of interest.  First of all, it creates a doubt about his motivation to reject a complete ban passed overwhelmingly this summer by both the NJ State Assembly, as well as the NJ Senate.

Presumably the Assembly and the Senate represent the will of the citizens, but rather than sign the bill into law, Governor Christie vetoed the ban and instead put in place a one year moratorium.  It now appears that one possible reason that he did so was due to his vested financial interest.  If he has invested in a company which recycles fracking wastewater, it would seem that when the fracking business does well, that the Governor will also do well with his investment.

His financial conflict of interest is also a huge problem in relation to the upcoming 21 November 2011 vote which will be taken by the Delaware River Basin Commission, of which he is one of the five voting members.  The commissioners will vote on whether or not to approve regulations permitting shale gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.  The governor’s investment would also lead one to believe that he is unable to make an unbiased vote as to whether or not to permit fracking in this sensitive watershed serving 15.6 million people, including the populations of New York City and Philadelphia.  It is well worth noting at this point that both the state of New York and the City of Philadelphia (pending) are party to a lawsuit against the DRBC to compel them to wait until the EPA environmental impact study, and a further cumulative impact study specific to the Delaware River Basin, are completed and the results analyzed, before they make this decision.  Would the Governor of New Jersey vote to frack all the populations throughout the watershed, against their collective wills, before the science comes in?  And would it be because he stands to earn handsome profits when the fracking business expands?

Governor Christie wrote a letter in reply to a letter expressing support for Senate Bill No. 2576, which was the fracking ban passed by the NJ Senate. This is his reply.   Governor Christie claims that the reason that he vetoed the ban and put a moratorium in place instead, is “…to allow adequate time for several important studies to be completed…by the federal Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency…Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has not fully evaluated the environmental issues presented by fracking.  I believe that the citizens of our state will be well-served to await the results and analyses of these critical surveys.”

BINGO!  Here is the point of leverage.  If New York and Philadelphia don’t want drilling to begin before the results of the studies come in, and Governor Christie thinks “[w]e can neither support nor outright prohibit fracking…until these significant facts and studies provide information about the potential risks and merits [of shale gas drilling]”, then we must hold him to his position.

The EPA study results will not be in until 2013 at the earliest, and the cumulative impact study for the Delaware River Basin specifically has not been begun.

Here is your task and your instructions:

Call Governor Christie at (609) 292-6000, or toll-free at (877) 559-7809.

Tell whomever answers that you would like to leave a comment for the Governor, and ask to speak with an aide.

Tell them:  “I am aware that Governor Christie is invested in and has profited 28k from a company which recycles fracking wastewater, and I think this poses a shocking conflict of interest in both his decision to veto the ban on fracking in NJ, and also his upcoming vote on 21 November of the DRBC whether to approve regulations permitting shale gas drilling in the Delaware watershed.”

“I demand that he either divest himself of the stock, or else recuse himself from the vote.”

“I am aware that Governor Christie’s position is that he believes that the EPA study and a cumulative impact study should be completed so that the results may be taken into account before making a premature decision whether or not to ban fracking in New Jersey, and I expect him to be consistent in this position with respect to drilling the Delaware, and vote to MAINTAIN THE DRBC MORATORIUM on 21 November in Trenton.”

“He should ‘vote NO against permitting fracking’ on the 21st.”

“I would like to remind the governor that the state of New York and the City of Philadelphia, as well as smaller populations throughout all four states, do not wish to be FRACKED until those studies are completed, at which time a proper and NOT a premature decision can be made, and that Governor Christie has no business voting to frack these populations against their will, in order for him to profit in the private sector.”

“Thank-you for your time and attention while listening to all my points.”

Pass this blog onto your friends and ask them to do the same; this should take less than ten minutes of your time.  Thank you!

Written and submitted by Julie A. Edgar of Berks Gas Truth

One Comment
  1. November 7, 2011 11:50 am

    A friend has just made this You-Tube video. If you are into blues you should have a listen.

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