Running Scared Has Its Price: DRBC Funding Slashed by PA

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Pennsylvania has drastically reduced its contribution to the DRBC, an overdue action that properly rewards the agency for nearly a decade of fracking delay.

I bring wonderful news. Governor Tom Wolf, on July 11, signed HB 219, the Pennsylvania budget for 2017. It cuts DRBC funding from the Commonwealth, already well below previous levels, by half to $217,000. That’s $217,000 more than it ought to get but, nonetheless, a giant step in the right direction. This is the price of the DRBC running scared of fractivists for almost a decade; the cost of incompetence, intransigence and obsequiousness toward fractivist special interests and the wealthy families who fund them.

Here are three most beautiful lines from the budget:


The DRBC had requested $434,000, which was what it got from Pennsylvania last year and the year before (it also got $114,320 both years for special projects), according to its audits. It got $1,141,837 in 2014 and $1,105,089 in 2013. Here’s the trend and it is nothing less than remarkable:


Contributions to the SRBC were also halved, reflecting the fact the agency has more than $40 million in reserves mostly built up, no doubt, from fees charged to the natural gas industry. The DRBC has no such reserves, as a consequence of its head in the sand attitude toward gas drilling. Therefore, the cut is far more meaningful in the DRBC case, which makes it especially sweet.

Moreover, make no mistake; while these cuts can also attributed to the need to reduce spending, the DRBC was targeted by legislators from the northern part of the basin (e.g. newly elected Rep. Jonathan Fritz). They’ve had it with DRBC complicity in a con game depriving landowners of the same economic opportunities as those in the SRBC region. They’re not taking it anymore. No more BS, no more double-talk, no more running scared of radical fractivists, no more kowtowing to the Haas and Heinz families at the expense of locals.



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