New York’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner is reportedly hinting that the state will vote “no” on fracking in the Delaware watershed.
But don’t celebrate yet, fracking opponents. Even if New York votes against it, fracking may nonetheless be green-lighted on November 21.
That’s when the Delaware River Basin Commission is scheduled to vote on fracking in the region of the Delaware, which provides drinking water for millions and habitat for one of the nation’s best wild trout fisheries.
The DRBC consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the federal government. If three of them vote “yes,” the DRBC can start issuing permits.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already asked for a one-year moratorium to study fracking further. But Pennsylvania has embraced it and President Obama wants more domestic gas and oil production. Delaware (the state) is nowhere near the gas-rich Marcellus shale deposit and
thus has nothing to fear if fracking goes forward (and arguably no good reason to oppose it.)
Update: I’ve just learned that Delaware, the state. gets a great deal of its drinking water from the Delaware watershed — no surprise, I guess — and so might have plenty to fear should the water be contaminated with fracking waste. So maybe Delaware will be a “no”?
Updated again Nov. 17: Delaware will in fact vote no. NJ and PA will reportedly vote yes. That leaves the Army Corps of Engineers to break the tie.
The wild card, however, is that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing the DRBC for considering approving fracking without sufficient study of its impacts.