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Calls needed NOW to PA Legislators to kill HB2450 and HB2451!

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The DRBC Takeover Bills – Bad Government undermining watershed relations and protective rules

Please take a couple of minutes to call your Pennsylvania State Senator to stop the pro-fracking and self-serving HB2450 and HB2451 bills from being approved. The PA House approved these bills and they have been referred to the PA Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. No Committee meeting is scheduled yet. Senator Gene Yaw is the chair and Senator Carolyn Comitta is the minority chair of the Committee.

These two bad government bills show lack of understanding of intergovernmental watershed-based decisionmaking and the basic principles of federalism. That the House would approve bills that so obviously serve special interests and ignore the dangers of fracking and the importance of watershed protection is of huge concern. We must ensure that this attempt to undermine the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC) authority to protect the river and its watershed and force fracking where it has been duly banned goes not a step further.

Please call your State Senator and tell them to vote NO on HB2450 and HB2451.

Find your legislator here and please call today!
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/

HB2451: The DRBC decision in 2021 to ban fracking throughout the Delaware River Watershed made a 10-year moratorium permanent and was approved by all four-watershed states – NY, NJ, PA, and DE – including by the affirmative vote of Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania’s voting member at the DRBC. It also equally prohibits fracking in all four states. The ban was based on ten years of DRBC scientific study, research on the impacts of fracking on water resources, the environment, and human health. As a Compact state, Pennsylvania cannot override the other states or the federal government by dictating regulations or picking and choosing what they prefer. HB2451 carves an exception out of the Compact saying that DRBC cannot enact regulations that “interfere with the operation or control of projects, structures or facilities constructed or used in connection with hydraulic fracturing”. The bill goes so far as to disgracefully exploit Russia’s horrific war against Ukraine as an excuse for increasing fracking, despite the lack of reasoned thinking that increased fracking for export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would benefit any entity except a few corporate special interests and their representatives in Harrisburg. Pennsylvanians will bear all the costs and harms of expanded fracking, especially considering that exports have resulted in higher domestic energy prices.

HB2450: Entitled an “Act amending the act of July 7, 1961 (P.L.518, No.268), known as the Delaware River Basin Compact, in organization and area, further providing for voting power” HB2450 calls for the voting powers of each state and the federal government to be reduced to a minimum with the lion’s share of voting powers granted to Pennsylvania, because it has more watershed lands. The DRBC Compact was adopted by all four-watershed states – NY, NJ, PA, and DE, and the federal government in 1961 to protect and manage the shared waters and watershed assets of the Basin. This has greatly benefited the protection of the water supply of up to 17 million people in all four states, including PA, which has 5.5 million people in the Basin. One Compact state cannot dictate to the other; all decisions are made cooperatively to fulfill the watershed protection mission for more than 60 years. This bill represents a desire by some misguided Pennsylvania legislators to grab power for themselves.

Both of these bills are self-serving and undermine cooperative watershed management. They also show a lack of understanding of the Pennsylvania Legislature’s role and Compact law.

See the text of HB2450 here: https://bit.ly/3JmjwAs

See the text of HB2451 here: https://bit.ly/379ah9B

Tell your Senator:

  • Fracking was banned in the Delaware River Basin by a vote of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), including Pennsylvania as one of the five voting members. The decision was based on science and ten years of deliberations and protects the water supply of up to 17 million people and the Watershed’s irreplaceable natural assets. A few PA legislators with their own agenda have no authority to takeover DRBC for special interests.
  • We want watershed-based cooperative government decisionmaking founded on the mission to protect and restore water resources and watershed ecology for the equal benefit of the entire Delaware River Watershed and its assets. All states deserve and require equal protection based on shared policies and regulations.
  • Stop a few Legislators from trying to unilaterally undo what Pennsylvania has already committed to do by ratifying the Delaware River Basin Compact in 1961 and by Governor Wolf’s vote in 2021 for the permanent ban on fracking throughout the Delaware River Watershed. Working together with our fellow Governors and the federal representative protects the water supply for millions of people and basin commerce in all four states and protects the irreplaceable watershed environment and the communities within, both human and nonhuman.

Thank you for taking action to support watershed-based government working for clean water and a healthy environment in the Delaware River Watershed!