There IS Light at the End of the Tunnel
The UDRBC was formed to advocate for the rights of property owners across the Upper Delaware River region. The actions of the Delaware River Basin have infringed upon those rights. Their actions boil down to an unelected agency attempting to supersede the authority of state legislatures as well as denying property owners the constitutional rights of the benefits of their property ownership, all done without any compensation being provided for the use of property in the Delaware River Basin.
The founders of our nation gave us constitutional law to ensure that every citizen of this country was protected FROM confiscation of property, among other inalienable rights. We have occasionally taken heat for our support of some Republican candidates and politicians. Our response to that criticism is that we could find NO CANDIDATES from any of the other parties who have been willing to support our right to benefit from the use of our properties.
With the restrictions levied upon our businesses and our livelihoods by overzealous regulators, many have been overcome with a sense of hopelessness, but now is not the time to give in to our fears and allow those who would exercise even greater control over our lives to succeed.
After 5 years of ... Read More
RGGI – Another Tax on Top of Your Electric Bill
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), often called a “cap and trade” program, is the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its effect is the same as a direct tax or fee on emissions because RGGI allowance costs are passed on from electric generators to distribution companies to consumers.
The PA DEP has been ordered by Governor Wolf to develop a plan by Sept 15th to join a regional cap and trade consortium of states. If the legislature allows this to go through, your electric rates are going to skyrocket.
Consider the current average rates per kWh in PA compared to states already burdened by their participation in the RGGI scam.
- Rhode Island - 22.7
- Massachusetts - 22.51
- New York - 17.27
- Vermont - 16.73
- Pennsylvania - 12.53
The CATO report also found increased electric rates in RGGI states. Using the weighted average nominal electricity revenue for multi-state groups, Stevenson found that from 2007 to 2015, electricity prices in RGGI states increased by 64 % more than in the non-RGGI sample states. The review also found RGGI’s mandated allowances added $11 ... Read More
How to Fight the DRBC for Your Mineral Rights!
What do we need to do to secure DRBC approval of gas drilling in our area?
The answer is simple, but hard; we must beat them in court so we can all harvest our gas. We are, in fact, the only ones who can make that happen. If we don’t do it, our gas rights are 100% worthless.
So, how do we do this? The answer is, once again, simple but, in this case, not that hard at all. We need to invest a tiny portion of our currently worthless gas rights (mineral rights below 500 feet) in financing a lawsuit that is already underway. That lawsuit may well cost over $1 million before it is done.
Fortunately, we have an angel investor from the Lehigh Valley who also owns land in Wayne County and is fronting the cost. All we have to do is support his efforts, which we can do by investing 4% of our currently valueless gas rights in continuing his lawsuit. Our return on that investment will, we hope and expect, be to recoup the value of the remaining 96% we own but which the DRBC has stolen.
What this involves is signing an agreement with our angel investor to give him a ... Read More
UDRBC Responds to Representative Wendy Ullman's Op-Ed
On May 29, 2019, Representative Wendy Ullman wrote an opinion piece that pretty much parroted the misleading talking points of the Delaware River Keeper. READ REPRESENTATIVE ULLMAN'S OPINION
We responded to Representative Ullman's article and our response was published on July 5, 2019. READ OUR RESPONSE.
Article V of the BILL OF RIGHTS of the US Constitution clearly defines the rights of property owners, AND the fact that property use issues can only be resolved by DUE PROCESS and that the owners of property taken MUST BE FAIRLY COMPENSATED. Both HB827 and SB305 address the inequity being foisted on property owners in the Upper Delaware River Basin.
Many types of government action infringe on private property rights. Accordingly, the Fifth Amendment's compensation requirement is not limited to government ... Read More
UDRBC HOLDS FIRST ANNUAL RIVER SWEEP
On June 8, 2019, the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC) under idyllic conditions, held their first annual river cleanup. Forty-three volunteers from various organizations gathered at the Landers Campground in Narrowsburg Saturday morning and boarded a bus to be shuttled to Milanville to begin their 3 hour long journey back to Narrowsburg.
Armed with large garbage bags, sun-screen and copious supplies of fresh water, the volunteer clean-up crews boarded their watercraft at Skinners Falls.
Manning kayaks and rafts, the group was divided in half with half of the group scouring the PA side while the other half scoured the NY side of the river.
After several hours on the river, the crews arrived back at Narrowsburg with rafts full of tires, barrels, and even a frying pan.
The event was celebrated with a BBQ of hamburgers, hotdogs, and salads, provided by UDRBC. <... Read More
Three Local Students Awarded Scholarships
Three excep)onal students were presented with scholarships at the UDRBC annual Spring Seminar held at the Lookout Firehouse on May 2nd, 2019.
Before a crowd of ninety people, Cody Smith of Honesdale High School received a $1000 scholarship from EnviroVentures and Brooke Rutledge, also of Honesdale High School, received a $1000 scholarship from the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens.
These students will be furthering their education in the field of agriculture or a related feld and recognize the importance of natural gas development with regard to farming.
A third student, Alec Milucky from Sullivan West High School, is also a recipient of a $1000 scholarship from UDRBC but was unable to attend the seminar.Read More
Spring Seminar A Great Success!
Over 90 people were in attendance at the Lookout Firehouse on May 2nd for the second annual spring seminar hosted by the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC). The hall was filled with guest speakers, state and local officials, and citizens interested in protecting their rights as residents and landowners.
The first guest speaker was Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scientist for B.F. Environmental Consultants. He is also a Private Well Owner Educator at PACleanwater. Brian’s presentation was both entertaining and educational. His expertise covers well migration issues, natural gas, hydrogeology, carbon sequestering, brine water treatment, and water reuse. He spoke about the relationship between natural gas development and water quality. He said, “Most people think it has to be one or the other. I say it can be both!”
The next speaker was Pat Henderson of Marcellus Shale Coalition. His experience in the legislative and executive branches of the state government gives him insight into policy development and thus, perspective from both industry and policymakers. Pennsylvania already has ... Read More
HB 827 Passes in Committee and Overcomes First Hurdle
House Bill 827 passed the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee by a vote of 16 to 9. This represents an important first step for the citizens of the Upper Delaware River Basin, who have been denied the right to benefit from the use of their property by the DRBC.
Senate Bill 305 was received by the PA Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on February 19, 2019 and has not yet been debated or voted on. Both bills address the unequal determination of landowner rights across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The passage of HB 827 represents a win in the battle for landowner rights. We have not yet won the war being waged on the landowners of the Upper Delaware River Basin, but this is progress. The bill will go to the full house for debate and hopefully pass. Even if Governor Wolf vetoes the bill, it will make a powerful statement and make it more difficult for Wolf to support a ban. Now is the time for landowners to become actively involved in ... Read More
March 20, 2019 PA Environmental/Energy Committee Hearing Regarding DRBC
On March 20th the PA House Environmental Resources Committee held a hearing regarding the overreach of the Delaware River Basin Commission. Representative Jonathan Fritz provided the background for the reason that both he and Senator Lisa Baker view the actions taken by the DRBC against the landowners of the Upper Delaware River Basin represent a taking of property without just compensation.
Senator Lisa Baker’s DRBC takings bill, has been reintroduced as SB305, the “Delaware River Basin Commission Eminent Domain Activity Act." Rep. Jonathan Fritz introduced the bill on the House side as HB 827 to bring some ... Read More
Forty-First Annual Ag Day
UDRBC was pleased to participate in the Forty-First Annual Ag Day sponsored by The Penn State Extension and held at Honesdale High School on February 18th. Billed as “an opportunity for the local agricultural communities of Wayne County and surrounding areas to come together and learn about new and innovative technologies, new services, new product lines, new machinery, and updated programs and services available from local area agribusinesses, associations, and industry supporters,” Wayne County Ag Day was the perfect place for UDRBC to show its support for the local farmers, farm families, and businesses.
The UDRBC display table included applications for a $1000 scholarship available to a high school graduating senior pursuing a degree at a college or trade school in the field of agriculture or a related field. Brochures explaining the mission of UDRBC and advance notices of their Sweep the Delaware campaign in May were also available. Groups such as FFA and 4H were encouraged to bring ten or more people to the river clean up effort and receive a $150 donation ... Read More
UDRBC Pushing Back Against Regulatory Injustice
The House State Government Committee (HSGC) of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held hearings on June 11, 2018 on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC).
If there was any doubt at the beginning of the hearing, called to order by Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th) and opening remarks by Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th), it became clear quickly this was not going to be a good day for the DRBC.
The Ranking Member, Mathew Branford (D-70th), seemed oblivious to the hearing that was taking place around him as he decided to confront the first witness, Wayne County Commissioner Joseph W. Adams. Following what could only be described as a series of patronizing questions directed at him, Adams expertly and professionally slammed the door on Branford, who never made the same mistake with the other witnesses.
The next witness was Betty Sutliff, whose ... Read More
PA Senate Bill 1189
Send Sen. Baker A Thank You! A simple "Thank you for Senate Bill 1189" will be a great encouragement to her.
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) has launched an effort to require compensation for landowners in the Delaware River Basin, including those in Wayne and Pike counties, who are in jeopardy of losing valuable property rights to a pending ban on natural gas drilling.
Since 2009, landowners have been living under a moratorium that has prevented them from realizing the economic benefits accruing to those in other parts of the state. Last year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his support for a permanent ban, and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is expected to make a final decision later this year.
Calling the situation indefensible, today Baker announced the introduction of legislation, SB 1189, declaring such action will constitute a taking that must be paid for by the DRBC.
"In my judgment, such deprivation of property rights constitutes a taking, just the same as if the property ... Read More
2018 Agricultural Scholarship Awarded To Tim Brown
A large part of Wayne County's heritage is farm related, and the preservation of the farms here for future generations is of utmost importance. That is why the UDRBC has chosen to award a scholarship to a graduating senior who has displayed an interest in farming and wishes to continue his/her education in agriculture or an agriculture-related field.
The UDRBC awarded its 2018 Agricultural Scholarship to Tim Brown. Presenting the check to Tim Brown is Ned Lang, UDRBC President who is joined by Betty Sutliff, UDRBC Scholarship Committee Chair and Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th).
Who may apply?
If you have a demonstrated commitment to farming, are presently a Honesdale High School (HHS) student living in Wayne County, participated or are presently participating in 4-H programs and are enrolled in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Programs at HHS, then we would like to hear from you!
UDRBC Scholarship Committee
C/o Betty Sutliff
P.O. Box 186
Damascus, PA 18415
Spring Seminar, Natural Gas Exploration and Development (NGED) – The Industry Today
The Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC) held its Spring Seminar, Natural Gas Exploration and Development (NGED) – The Industry Today on May 17th at the Narrowsburg Inn, Narrowsburg, NY.
The full day event, where the progress of the industry today and the outlook for natural gas were discussed, featured Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, Bill desRosiers, External Affairs Coordinator for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Tom Shepstone, Owner of Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Speaking to a packed venue, State Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th) opened the seminar with his expert analysis regarding the evolution of the multibillion dollar natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, the success in Harrisburg with H.R. 515 and the upcoming hearings of the House State Government Committee, which will finally expose the overreach of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to the public.
The venue was filled with land owners and officials from the region, including Brian Smith, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, who shared his perspective on this issue and expressed the need to have access to this economic engine, which will be a tremendous boost not just for ... Read More
The DRBC Is Engaged in High Stakes, High-Tech Colonialism and wants to control your land!
Summarizing their studies in September 2017, the SRBC concluded: "the Commission’s remote water quality monitoring network has not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development".Read More
House Resolution 515 Passed 101 to 83
Thanks to Jonathan Fritz, Our state representatives have heard our voice and responded to the threat of the sovereignty of PA state law.
Rep. Brian Cutler (R-Lancaster) nailed the argument by saying on the House floor that the Commission's action is an end-run around PA lawmakers who should be making those types of environmental decisions.
Here is a link to how your representatives voted on this resolution. Please send a letter of THANKS to those who have supported your rights and let those who voted against your rights to benefit from your property that you oppose their viewpoint.
Support Rep Fritz's efforts of protecting our rights by writing him a letter of thanks.Read More