DRBC Cancels Monday Fracking Vote as Thousands of Concerned Demonstrators Prepare to Descend Upon Trenton
The pleasant surprise of the month is that the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) cancelled their upcoming vote—scheduled for Monday, November 21—for whether or not to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin, a source of drinking water for 15 million people. It’s possible that the commission was nervous; they just weren’t ready to host thousands of demonstrators about to converge on Trenton’s courthouse. How big a deal is a cancelled vote? It means the members of the commission are listening!
On Thursday, Delaware Governor Jack Markell said that his state would vote against allowing fracking in the region, which prompted the DRBC to cancel their vote, as they no longer have three out of five “yes” votes from members of the commission. This is the second time that the DRBC has delayed their course of action. They initially scheduled their vote for October 21, but pushed it back to November 21.
Our activists on the ground Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania —along with allies Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Frack Action, Catskill Mountainkeeper, United for Action, Sierra Club New Jersey, Damascus Citizens, Protecting Our Waters —-voiced their concerns through phone calls, letters, petitions and public comments and called on the commissioners not to open up the Delaware River basin to fracking. Their voices made a difference.
While this is not a final victory, it’s certainly a critical success for now. Most likely, the DRBC will reschedule their meeting to vote on this issue, which is why it’s so important that we keep voicing our opposition and expressing our concerns about the risks and dangers of allowing shale gas drilling.
For now, we need to stamp this as a victory so that people know our efforts are indeed moving us forward. But this does not mean we’re finished. We need to keep the pressure on by continuing to seek a fracking ban.
On Monday, we will gather in Trenton for a rally outside of the Trenton War Memorial—where the vote was scheduled to take place—with Food & Water Watch staff, our key allies, Josh Fox, Deborah Winger and others. Come join us for the rally starting at 11 am with the day ending around 3pm.