Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
The double-dealing DRBC just showed the world what it’s all about; rewarding the lower valley with development while proposing to stop it entirely upriver.
The Delaware River Basin Commission just showed us all its cards. The double-dealing DRBC commissioners unanimously approved a lower valley LNG project that includes major dredging of the river as it continues to argue the upper river valley would be threatened by the fracking used to produce the same natural gas.
It illustrates exactly what the double-dealing DRBC is all about; giving the Philadelphia area whatever it wants while it punishes those of us who live upriver with a baseless fracking ban based on nothing but speculation of risk. The upper valley, in other words, doesn’t exist for the DRBC other than as a greenwash card to play as mitigation for downriver development.
What I’m talking about is a wonderful project that I support in every respect. Nonetheless, it paints the full picture of the DRBC as a grubby tool of those who wish to develop the lower valley. They use the upper valley as a token bone to throw to radical environmentalists who would otherwise be focused on their favored projects. By selling out the upper basin they also do the bidding of a “Club Rich” gentry class that finances the radicals so as to lay the groundwork for their land grabs.
The project in question is sponsored by a company called Delaware River Partners LLC, which is behind an LNG port project proposed for Gloucester County, New Jersey. The developers have kept things fairly close to the vest, as this article indicates, and for good reason; so things could lined up with the double-dealing DRBC ahead of time.
The project, in fact, has already received unanimous approval from the double-dealing DRBC commissioners. It went from speculation to approval, in fact, in a little over three months, with the DRBC having published its draft approval decision on May 24. Here’s how the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the decision:
The Delaware River Basin Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to build a $96 million 1,600-foot-long pier to load tankers at the former DuPont Repauno Works in New Jersey, where an investment firm proposes to export large volumes of liquid fuels produced from fracking Pennsylvania shale gas wells.
The commission rejected pleas from environmentalists to delay the project to study the impact of the terminal, which activists fear will be used primarily as an export terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) brought in by road and rail to the port in Greenwich Township. DuPont shut down its Repauno operations about 20 years ago.
The commission said its review was confined to the impact of building the wharf and of dredging the Delaware River to 43 feet deep to connect with the main channel.
The wharf would be the second new dock built on the site, where the property’s owners, Delaware River Partners LLC, say LNG is only one of several commodities that may be shipped, including other fuels, automobiles, and bulk cargo. An LNG shipper would be required to obtain a U.S. Energy Department permit to export LNG.
A coalition of climate activists opposed to new fossil-fuel infrastructure projects raised alarms about the project after connecting the dots between the port expansion and a proposal by an affiliated company to produce LNG at a plant in northern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale gaslands.
Local elected officials support the terminal, saying it’s an economic development project that will revive a dormant industrial site with taxable improvements and new jobs…
Delaware River Partners LLC, in securities filings, has suggested that its initial interest is primary to develop the Repauno port to export propane and butane from Marcellus producers to European petrochemical manufacturers…
Delaware River Partners is owned by a company that is controlled and managed by Fortress Investment Group, a New York hedge fund affiliated with New Fortress Energy. New Fortress has proposed building a 3.6-million-gallon-per-day natural gas liquefaction plant in Bradford County, Pa., and in securities filings, says it plans to export the LNG it produces to locations in the Caribbean through an unnamed Delaware River port.
New Fortress is run by Wesley R. Edens, a 57-year-old billionaire investment banker and cofounder of the Fortress Investment Group. He is also co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Aston Villa Football Club in England.
We get a somewhat more detailed description from the DRBC decision (emphasis added):
The purpose of this docket is to approve an additional dredging and deep-water berth construction project, referred to as “Dock 2,”at the docket holder’s previously approved GLCon the Delaware River. The GLC, which is currently under construction, is a multi-use marine terminal and international logistics center located at the former Repauno site (also formerly known as the “Chemours Repauno industrial site”and “DuPont Repauno Works”) in Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Previous DRBC, federal, state and local approvals for the GLC authorized Delaware River dredging and construction for the deep-water berth referred to as “Dock 1,” consisting of one-ship berth on a pile-supported wharf structure. Dock 2 will consist of an additional pile-supported wharf structure that accommodates two ship berths and associated infrastructure.The construction of Dock 2 involves dredging approximately 665,000 cubic yards (cy) of sediment from the Delaware River to a depth of 43 feet feet below (-43) mean lower low water (MLLW) to accommodate the two deep-water berths. The Project does not involve demolition of any existing in-water or landside structures.
Read the rest of the double-dealing DRBC’s decision and you’ll find it very rationally dealt with prospective environmental issues connected with the project, relying upon best management practices to control the risks while allowing the important economic development to proceed; economic development that will rely up fracking to deliver the goods. It will involve, though, dredging 45 acres of the river bottom and removing the equivalent of almost 37,000 tandem dump truckloads of material.
That’s all quite interesting isn’t it, given the DRBC’s obsession with the miniscule/non-existent risks from fracking itself? The double-dealing DRBC commissioners want the benefits of fracking for the lower valley. We, too, want it for them. They are prepared to allow the dredging of 45 acres of the river to get it done, but want to simultaneously give us the Heisman. They want to halt any prospect of fracking in the upper basin so as to appease the radical environmentalists and their gentry class enablers who want the upper basin as parkland for themselves. We are nothing but bargaining chips for the “Club Rich” powers behind the DRBC. The four gubernatorial members of the DRBC who want fracking for themselves but not for us are the worst sort of double-dealers; corrupt to the core.
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