New York Fracking Ban Could Block Some Pa. Drilling

Ban could block drilling in eastern Pennsylvania along Delaware River.

StateImpact reports that New York’s decision to ban fracking for natural gas may have “ripple effects” in eastern Pennsylvania, where drilling is regulated by the Delaware River Basin Commission.

“The current de facto moratorium on drilling for gas along the Delaware river in both New York and Pennsylvania exists because the four states and a federal representative who comprise the Delaware River Basin Commission could not agree on how to do it,” StateImpact reports.

Although (Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom) Wolf made the campaign promise to maintain the moratorium in the Delaware watershed, he has criticized New York’s decision and says he doesn’t agree that gaps in the science exist. And it’s unclear how the DRBC will react. The commission could simply maintain the status quo.

The DRBC’s former executive director Carol Collier says she hopes the report and New York’s decision will embolden the commissioners to end the stalemate.

Wolf, of course, won’t agree to a moratorium on fracking in the rest of the state — he hopes to tax drilling, with revenues going to the state’s schools.