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Save the Delaware River Basin

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JOSH FOX and BILL McKIBBEN’s Special Appeal to VP Biden: SAVE THE DELAWARE!

JOSH FOX and BILL McKIBBEN’s Special Appeal to VP Biden: Save the Delaware!

WATCH THIS VIDEO JOSH FOX AND BILL McKIBBEN HAVE CREATED FOR JOE BIDEN AND THEN PLEASE TAKE THE STEP BY STEP ACTION BELOW:

EASY ACTION STEPS:

1) Send a FAX to the key targets listed below by clicking HERE.

2) Open a new email, copy the letter below, and paste the letter into the email.  Next, copy the emails listed below for Joe Biden below and insert those addresses into the address bar in the email.  Sign it and send it.

VP JOE BIDEN:

Email here:

Public@ovp.eop.gov

vice.president@whitehouse.gov

Or go to this web address:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact-vp/ 

Phone: 202-456-1414 (ask to leave a message for both VP Biden AND Pres. Obama)

Fax:202 456 3455

COPY THE LETTER BELOW:

TO: Vice President Joe Biden

CC:

Governor Jack Markell

http://smu.governor.delaware.gov/cgi-bin/mail.php?contact

Phone:(302) 577-3210 or (302) 744-4101  FAX:  (302) 577-3118 or (302) 739-2775

President Barack Obama

Army Corps of Engineers for President Obama

erik.j.rourke@usace.army.mil

Governor Jack Markell

http://smu.governor.delaware.gov/cgi-bin/mail.php?contact

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden

Nancy Sutlley, Council on Environmental Quality

Dear Vice President Biden-

DON’T FRACK THE DELAWARE

We respect your integrity, your strength, your leadership and most of all your environmental record.

I am writing to urge you to unequivocally reject the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC) proposal to allow gas drilling within the Delaware River Basin.  The DRBC received 69,800 public comments on their proposed draft regulations which were overwhelmingly against fracking.  They have ignored them and in the process ignored the democratic process.  Commissioners who vote to allow fracking are on the wrong side of history and will be held accountable.

Hydraulic Fracturing – or Fracking – is a highly dangerous method of drilling for natural gas that risks the safety of our air, water, and food, and threatens the health of our families, communities, and environment and will undoubtedly put into jeopardy these critical considerations in the Delaware River Basin.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy Science Advisory Board’s own Subcommittee on Shale Gas Production recently recommended “[p]reservation of unique and/or sensitive areas as off limits to drilling. . .”

I urge you to say no to fracking in the Delaware River Basin. The charter of the DRBC calls for it to protect water quality in the basin, and clearly calls for nothing else to be considered above this mandate.  There has been more than sufficient evidence, through widely documented incidents of contamination, to overwhelmingly convince any individual willing to look at the facts that a practice as potentially catastrophic as hydraulic fracturing should not be considered in a such sensitive area, the drinking water supply for 15.6 million people.

Do not think that a yes vote on these regulations will go unnoticed or unchallenged in the media or in the public sphere.  The New York Times, Pro-Publica, and HBO’s GASLAND 2, to name a few media sources will report on fracking in the watershed and organizations with a very wide reach such as 350.org, Democracy for America, NRDC, Environmental Working Group, Catskill MountainKeeper, Delaware RiverKeeper and literally hundreds of others will be extremely vocal about any drilling allowed in the Delaware River Basin.  If the regulations pass and the river basin is industrialized beyond recognition and contaminated, it will be forever the legacy of those who voted yes.

This watershed provides drinking water for more than 15 million people, delivering 1,803 million gallons of water every day to public water supplies.  That’s about 5% of the nation’s population – including New York City and Philadelphia – who are depending on this relatively small watershed for safe drinking water every day.  From massive water withdrawals to leaks and spills of toxics-laden frack fluid to the generation of millions of gallons of wastewater – sometimes laced with radioactive substances – the  for gas drilling to pollute our water is grave.  Specifically, and documented in the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Hazen and Sawyer Report, slick water horizontal hydraulic fracturing uses around 350,000-400,000 pounds of chemicals per well, many of these extremely toxic and cancer causing. To allow such obviously carcinogenic and dangerous activity near the sole or primary drinking water source for millions of Americans is nothing short of an invitation to disaster.

Moreover, the Delaware River Basin is vital to our ecology and quality of life.  Its national park recreation areas are so treasured that 5.4 million visitors come each year to hike, camp, boat, or swim.  Drinking water for millions, habitat for wildlife, and recreation for millions:  one is hard-pressed to find meaning in the DOE subcommittee’s phrase “unique and or sensitive areas” if you do not apply it to the Delaware River Basin.  With this clear and defining policy statement, how could one actually move forward to drill and inject so much chemically laden water into such a sensitive and vital American Treasure?

Moreover, oil and gas industry claims that drilling will aid economic recovery are patently false.  In fact, drilling will damage the Basin’s existing economic value.  The value of its water supply alone has recently been calculated by a University of Delaware study at $3,767,000 in annual economic value.  Looking at the many aspects of economic value that the River provides, this study concludes that “[t]he Delaware Basin contributes close to $22 billion in annual market/non-market value to the regional economy…”  Much of that value derives from forests, water supply and high water quality.  These are the very assets at risk if natural gas development moves ahead in the Marcellus and Utica Shales, located in the Upper and Middle Delaware River Watershed.  More so, many families in Pennsylvania, are already finding that after contamination, the value of their homes has dropped precipitously to what it once was.  This is not the economic benefit that, during such a time of economic hardship, should be even be considered.

Surely you have noticed that the only contingents interested in pushing forward with fracking are ones that stand to benefit financially, who consistently dismiss the economic hardships and environmental degradation caused by the collateral damage incurred from this risky practice.  This sort of omission and faulty economic analysis leaves the greater public liable for the true costs of contamination in numerous, and painful ways.  Giving a yes vote to something that could potentially harm the general public in such a way would be nothing short of granting license to harm millions of Americans for the economic prosperity of a few.

There is an out, just as New York has urged no drilling in its watersheds which serve huge populations (the watersheds for New York City and Syracuse) the Obama Administration and the state of Delaware can vote to disallow fracking in the Delaware river basin which also serves a huge number of people with drinking water.

Currently New York Attorney General has filed suit against the commission for failing in its obligation to complete a cumulative impact study of hydrofracking on the river basin, which is required of the commission by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  This means that the DRBC would be violating the law in allowing gas drilling regulations. We urge you to reject all drilling in the river basin flat out, but, at very least, the DRBC is required to do a multi-year cumulative impact study, which would truly assess the impact on the river basin, by federal law.

I strongly urge you to reject the proposed regulations to drill and call on you to protect the Delaware River Basin from fracked gas drilling. Please stand with this National Wild and Scenic River, its communities and habitats, and the more than 15 million people who rely on the Delaware for their water.  To do otherwise could be catastrophic, and would surely cement your historic decision to reflect alignment with the polluting fossil fuel industry for generations to come.  We voted you into office to serve and protect all of the people, not just the few who wish to profit at all costs.

Please make sure the DRBC votes no on the proposed regulations and insist on a ban in this fragile, scenic, historic, and critical watershed that serves millions of Americans.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

DRBC Meeting Update

Nov 21.Trenton update!  

Hey folks-

We are all gearing up for November 21st.  Yesterday we had a great screening of GASLAND in Delaware and folks are calling the Army Corps of Engineers @ 703-697-4672 and the Governor of Delaware frequently to oppose fracking the Delaware, Jack Markell (302) 577-3210.
Momentum is building.  Today, Josh Fox has a meeting at the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House to plead our case and two meetings with the New York Times.  Mark Ruffalo has released a great new video in support and enthusiasm is building.

We can save the Delaware on November 21st.  Don’t miss it.

DRBC is trying to rob us of our right to have a voice in their hearing – but if we all show up together, we will make ourselves be heard, change the outcome, and protect the Delaware River. We can win – if we have enough people. So here’s the plan: There are 2,000 seats in the auditorium. We need to fill as many of those seats as possible with people against fracking. Together we will engage in an ORGANIZED, DIGNIFIED, PEACEFUL protest. In order to plug in, we need you to come to a training the night before or attend the briefing the morning of the 21st. There will be two simultaneous evening trainings on Nov 20th, in NYC and in Trenton NJ, and you can get the details and RSVP for them HERE. If you cannot attend a training, there will be a briefing the morning of the 21st (location and time TBA) for people to plug-in to the plan. There will be multiple roles for this creative action, and if you are able, please bring $100 and your ID which may be required for some roles.  
Please check out Mark Ruffalo’s video:

Thanks,

MESSAGE FROM JOSH FOX: WE WON ON THE KEYSTONE XL! NOW LET’S SAVE THE DELAWARE AND STOP FRACKING IN ITS TRACKS ON NOVEMBER 21st

Message from Josh Fox:

Dear Fracktivists-

So many of us were working incredibly hard to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and we won this round.  I got arrested in front of the White House.   Almost all of my friends got arrested in front of the White House.  My mom got arrested in front of the White House.  And we stopped the pipeline for now.  We did it.  We owe a huge thanks to Bill McKibben and TarSandsAction and all of their brilliant organizers.

Now we can do the same to stop fracking in the Delaware River basin.

We’re not just going to sit back and enjoy victory are we?

We are going to keep up the momentum and get ready for November 21st!

I was on Democracy Now! today – take a moment to check out the video from that appearance:

We’ve come a long way in the fight against fracking.  The flaming faucets in GASLAND has been seen by upwards of 40 million people in 20 countries.  Our awareness campaign has worked.  A recent study shows that 4 out of 5 Americans say that they are concerned about the effect of fracking on drinking water.

Our most important stand is less than two weeks away.

On November 21st the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will vote to approve a plan that will allow for 20,000 or more fracked gas wells in the Delaware River Basin.  We need you to come out and protest the vote in huge numbers.

Because this moment is so important, I made a new video, my first video addressing fracking since GASLAND.  You can watch it here:

The crucial decision to frack or not to frack the Delaware is in the hands of President Obama and the Governors of Delaware and New York.  We need you to take charge and push them to do the right thing.

I have travelled all over this world, in over 30 states in the USA, to Africa, to Europe, Asia and Australia and one thing is clear:  Fracking is not only one of the most destructive forms of extreme energy development, creating water contamination, horrific and hazardous air pollution and a health crisis, it is a world wide scourge that pushes us farther away from the renewable energy future that we need.

Now the fight comes back to my home, the Delaware River Basin, where it started for me.  But this fight isn’t about me.  It’s about the drinking water for 16 million people that the Delaware River provides.

THE CRUCIAL VOTE:

The Delaware River Basin Commission is an interstate body with five voting members, the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey and the Obama Administration as represented by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Three out of five votes will either pass or reject the plan to frack the Delaware River.

It seems clear that the Governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania will vote to allow fracking on a huge scale in the River Basin, which is why we need all three remaining votes in order to prevail.

Like the massive actions these past few months against Tar Sands development and the Keystone XL pipeline, this decision will be a “watershed” moment for President Obama and a must win for us fighting against extreme energy development.

Not only is the Delaware River the source of drinking water for 16 million people (or 5% of Americans), it is a designated Wild and Scenic river, a tourist destination for 5.4 million people a year and a national treasure.  The proposed plan to frack the Delaware would forever industrialize and contaminate this precious and currently pristine watershed.  20,000 fracked gas wells would be an industrialization that the fragile river basin would never recover from.

We are asking you to do two things:

1) Make calls.  2) Come join us in an amazing protest effort on November 21st.

MAKE CALLS RIGHT NOW:

Call the Army Corps of Engineers to urge them to vote no fracking in the Delaware River Basin.  Tell them you will hold President Obama accountable for the vote and make it clear that you know that it is his decision.  703 697 4672  Leave a message for Jo Ellen Darcy, Army Corps of Engineers.

Call Governor Jack Markell of Delaware.  Delaware has been sitting on the fence on fracking.  We need them clearly and unequivocally voting no.  Tell him to vote no fracking on the upcoming DRBC vote. 302-577-3210

Call Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York.  Tell him to oppose fracking in the Delaware River Basin watershed, just as he has in the New York city and Syracuse watersheds.  518-474-8390

PROTEST on NOVEMBER 21st in Trenton, N.J.

When: November 21, 8 am

Where: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J.

Coming from another location?  Bus sign up HERE.

PRE ACTION TRAINING:  November 2oth, New York City and Trenton.  Delaware Riverkeeper Network will host a training session in lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity. 

For more information and to sign up for Trenton, Click HERE.  For NYC, Click HERE.

Questions:  savethedelawareriver@gmail.com and/or continue to check back.

AND just for a shot in the arm, here is a special statement from Bill McKibben sent to me just two days ago:

“We’re obviously deep in the trenches in Keystone XL pipeline fight, which has galvanized the whole country. But it’s not just the pipe we’re fighting, it’s the carbon it carries. And that carbon–that extreme energy, the second round of fossil fuels now that the easy stuff is gone–doesn’t just come from tarsands. It also comes from removing mountaintops for coal, and from drilling deep under the ocean–and, urgently, from fracking. We’ve simply got to somehow slow the rush to this new and dangerous technology, which promises to overwhelm the atmosphere with global warming gases.  As once before in American history, the Delaware will play a crucial role.. “

WE CAN AND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE HISTORY!

See you Monday the 21st!

All my love, support and respect,

Josh Fox

JOSH FOX’S STATEMENT TO THE DRBC AND PRESIDENT OBAMA

“It is unthinkable, reprehensible and indefensible for the Delaware River Basin Commission to issue regulations that would allow for large scale fracking in the Delaware River Basin. It is an act that betrays the DRBC’s mission to protect the Delaware River, the source of drinking water for 15 million people, and borders on the criminally negligent.  This is truly a “watershed” moment for President Obama as it is becoming clearer that the administration will have the deciding vote on the issue.
What is striking is that President Obama has done nothing to prevent these regulations from being issued in the first place. If President Obama continues down this road and votes to frack the Delaware, he will do it with the world watching and the civil strife and contamination that will result will forever mar his legacy.  Clearly, both the Obama Administration and the DRBC are not listening to the unprecedented numbers that came out against their draft regulations and are kowtowing to big gas in what amounts to a sellout of our public resources for the private gain of the multinational corporations that pollute and contaminate and the banks that finance them.
If anyone needed evidence that our public commissions are bowing to the pressure of big business and that the fundamental principles of the democratic process in America is in trouble, this is it.  There is no public comment on this disastrous plan to allow big gas to take over the river basin which will force the huge numbers of people opposed to this plan into the streets to protest. Along with dozens of national and local organizations I am calling upon the Obama Administration and the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to unequivocally reject this proposal and ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin and I am calling upon citizens to come out and protest this motion to forever industrialize and contaminate the watershed on November 21st at the DRBC’s meeting in Trenton, NJ.”
Please see my video on the subject:
Josh Fox-
Director, GASLAND
Resident of Milanville, PA within the Delaware River Basin

SIGN UP!  ATTEND THE MEETING IN ON NOVEMBER 21ST IN TRENTON AND CONSIDER ATTENDING THE PEACEFUL NON VIOLENT ACTION TRAINING THE NIGHT BEFORE HERE.

Josh Fox and Matt Sanchez have created this video because the Delaware River Basin is in severe danger. The Delaware River Basin Commission will vote onNovember 21st on regulations that would permit over 20,000 gas wells in the river basin. Now is the time to act!

Protect the Delaware River Watershed from pollution created by toxic gas drilling. The Delaware River Basin, an intergovernmental body, is about to move forward with regulations to permit fracking.  This is a public health hazard and we cannot let this occur!

Three things you can do:

1) Call the Governors and President Obama TODAY and tell them Don’t Drill the Delaware, and Don’t approve ANY regulations to permit fracking!

  1. Governor Christie’s office  – 609-292-6000
  2. Governor Cuomo’s office – 518-474-8390
  3. Gov Corbett’s office – 717-787-2500
  4. Gov Markell’s Wilmington Office – 302-577-3210
  5. And the white house comment line is 202-456-1111

2) Come to the DRBC meeting!

When: November 21, 8 am,

Where: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J. Coming from another location? 

Bus sign up HERE.

Sign up for email updates HERE.

3) Delaware Riverkeeper Network will host a training session in lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity.  For more information, Click HERE.

Questions: savethedelawareriver@gmail.com and/or continue to check back. The members of the DRBC – the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative – will decide the future of this Watershed, the Wild and Scenic Delaware River, and the water supply for over 15 million people with their action on November 21. How can they allow drilling and fracking to start with weak regulations that don’t protect our drinking water and our watersheds? We need to tell them “Don’t Drill the Delaware!” Keep checking back for updates and go to: www.delawareriverkeeper.org and our other supporting organizations.

DRBC MEETING HAS CHANGED

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2011

Vote on Gas Drilling and Fracking Postponed by Delaware River Basin Commission
to November 21, 2011

The Public Voice Is Being Heard
West Trenton, NJ – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) announced today that it is postponing the public meeting scheduled for October 21 where a decision on natural gas drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Watershed is anticipated. The DRBC stated in a press
announcement (http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/newsrel_naturalgas100711.htm) that natural gas development regulations will now be considered by the agency at a public meeting set for 10:00 am to  12:00 pm, November 21 at the Trenton War Memorial. The approval of gas drilling regulations will mean the lifting of the current drilling moratorium in the Delaware River Watershed. The voting members of the DRBC – Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY), Governor Chris Christie (NJ), Governor Jack Markell (DE), and Governor Tom Corbett (PA), as the Governors of the four states that drain to the Delaware River and Colonel Christopher Larsen of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal representative – have been receiving a barrage of letters and phone calls over the past month since the October 21 meeting was set, including a virtual march on the DRBC through social media. President Barack Obama as the elected federal official has also been receiving the communications. Thousands are expected to attend the DRBC Meeting to protest the  commencement of gas drilling, traveling from throughout the 13,000 square mile basin, including buses from as far as 5 hours away. Public debate has raged over the past 3 years in the Watershed  because the DRBC has not done comprehensive environmental analyses to assess the immediate and cumulative impacts of natural gas development on the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, the sole water supply for over 15 million people, including New York City, Philadelphia and large populations in all four watershed states.
“People are speaking clearly and with one voice saying “Don’t Drill the Delaware” and perhaps the voting members of the DRBC have paused because of this strong outpouring. It is crucial that the members who will cast this vote are painfully aware that the public cares profoundly about the ramifications of gas development on drinking water, the Basin’s communities and the economic viability and health of the Watershed’s resources. Perhaps this postponement will result in deep consideration by these members and they’ll realize gas drilling should not commence”, said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

“With this delay we now have more time to fight and protect the Delaware River Basin. We have an opportunity now to continue to pressure our elected official to ban fracking in New Jersey and keep the moratorium in place. We can determine whether we can protect the Delaware River Basin and have clean drinking water for future generations by coming out to this meeting and showing the DRBC our opposition. Together we can not only protect the Delaware River Basin, but we can have a much cleaner, greener future. We must stop these rules and ban fracking”, said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

“As public backlash against fracking gains speed, the Delaware River Basin Commission’s decision to delay their vote on whether to open the Delaware River Basin to the process clearly indicates that the movement to ban fracking is swaying policymakers. We suspect that the commission’s motive for moving its vote to a holiday week may actually be an attempt to preclude the public from attending this historic meeting. Not only is the timing of the new vote terrible, but we feel strongly that the commission should not be voting to move forward with fracking. Instead, it should protect the drinking water of 15 million Americans by banning this dangerous practice in this critical watershed” said Jim Walsh, Eastern Region Director for Food & Water Watch, a national consumer advocacy organization who is calling for a national ban on fracking.

The DRBC announced that it intends “to publish the modified draft regulations on the DRBC web site (www.drbc.net) two weeks in advance of the expected vote by the commissioners. This web posting, planned for November 7, will be for informational purposes only since comments will not be accepted”.
For more information on gas drilling go to www.delawareriverkeeper.org
###

http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/newsrel_naturalgas100711.html

SAVE THE DELAWARE!

PLEASE TAKE NOTE:  THE  DRBC HAS POSTPONED ITS MEETING UNTIL NOVEMBER 21ST.

Josh Fox and Matt Sanchez have created this video because the Delaware River Basin is in severe danger. The Delaware River Basin Commission will vote on October 21st on regulations that would permit over 20,000 gas wells in the river basin. Now is the time to act!

Protect the Delaware River Watershed from pollution created by toxic gas drilling. The Delaware River Basin, an intergovernmental body, is about to move forward with regulations to permit fracking.  This is a public health hazard and we cannot let this occur!

Three things you can do:

1) Call the Governors and President Obama TODAY and tell them Don’t Drill the Delaware, and Don’t approve ANY regulations to permit fracking!

  1. Governor Christie’s office  – 609-292-6000
  2. Governor Cuomo’s office – 518-474-8390
  3. Gov Corbett’s office – 717-787-2500
  4. Gov Markell’s Wilmington Office – 302-577-3210
  5. And the white house comment line is 202-456-1111

2) Come to the DRBC meeting!

When: November 21, 8 am

Where: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J.

Coming from another location?  Bus sign up HERE.

Sign up for email updates HERE.

3) Delaware Riverkeeper Network will host a training session in lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity.  For more information, Click HERE.

Questions:  savethedelaware@gmail.com and/or continue to check back.

The members of the DRBC – the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative – will decide the future of this Watershed, the Wild and Scenic Delaware River, and the water supply for over 15 million people with their action on November 21. How can they allow drilling and fracking to start with weak regulations that don’t protect our drinking water and our watersheds? We need to tell them “Don’t Drill the Delaware!”

Keep checking back for updates and go to:

www.delawareriverkeeper.org and our other supporting organizations.

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