DRBC Invested in Oil and Gas? Talk About Fracking Hypocrisy!

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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The stark hypocrisy of the DRBC, which supposes it has the authority to prevent fracking in the basin, while its cash is invested in oil and gas is amazing.

A review of the most recent audit of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) reveals the disingenuous nature of the agency’s seven-year moratorium on fracking. It pretends, on one hand that it just can’t make up its mind on allowing the practice anywhere near the Delaware, while investing its cash in the New Jersey Cash Management Fund, where a review indicates oil and gas company stocks are among the favorite equities it purchases.

DRBC

The DRBC is busy simultaneously maintaining the incompatible positions that it has the authority to regulate oil and gas development and no duty to act upon such regulations. This has the effect of allowing it surreptitiously ban a land use activity without explicitly doing so, as that could trigger a takings claims worth billions by landowners in the basin. That matter is before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals at the moment, but, meanwhile, the agency is indirectly invested in oil and gas.

The latest DRBC audit shows the bulk of its cash is invested in the New Jersey Cash Management Fund. That entity reports its purchases of equities every month and for June, 2017, here are some of the investments made:

Fascinating, isn’t it? Well, not really. Any pension or other investment fund of virtually any major institution today will have significant oil and gas holdings among its portfolio. No one connected with the DRBC makes these investment decisions and my guess is not a single staff member or commissioner has the slightest clue these stocks are helping protect the assets of the agency.

But, that’s the point. These decision-makers are surely aware of their interests in oil and gas, however indirectly they may be involved; oil and gas makes the world go around. Development of these resources is essential and pipeline infrastructure is critical. New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are all huge oil and gas consumers and the Commonwealth is a top producing state. Pretending the region can have its oil and gas while obstructing its development and kowtowing to radicals who suppose oil and gas can be dispensed with on a whim is pure demagoguery; the worst form of hypocrisy.

This is precisely what is happening at the DRBC. Its Army Corps representative and chair, LTC Michael Bliss, who should be providing real leadership, instead issues mealy-mouthed comments about working on gas drilling regulations while the Commission makes excuses for doing nothing and promises opponents nothing will happen in the near future.

The DRBC is a bureaucracy run by other bureaucrats from the states and Army Corps. They serve through multiple state administrations, acting as commissioners, with seemingly no accountability to anyone. The agency has separated itself from the real world, just as New York has, maintaining, for purposes of political posturing, the fiction it has no need for oil and gas even as—just like the rest of us—it depends on it.

 

The post DRBC Invested in Oil and Gas? Talk About Fracking Hypocrisy! appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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