It's Already Decided, So Sham DRBC Hearings Don't Count, But...

While DRBC hearings to date have been fairly conducted, they don’t. The agency has already predetermined the outcome and denied landowners due process.

The DRBC hearings to date on its proposed ban on the development hydraulic fractured horizontally drilled gas wells in the basin have been fairly conducted. A retired judge with no axes to grind and little or no knowledge of the matters at hand has acted as hearing officer, which has freed the commissioners from having to face the public whose rights they’re stealing.

Moreover, the judge has started each hearing with a monologue in which he has stated they are real opportunities for public input. There’s not a doubt in my mind he means it, but he happens to be totally wrong, precisely because he’s unfamiliar with the issue. He doesn’t  realize he’s engaging in sham DRBC hearings, the outcome of which has already been predetermined, making a mockery of the due process of law to which we’re all supposed to be entitled.

The DRBC hearings are an opportunity to make a record but, beyond that, they are clearly meaningless. Phil Murphy, the new Governor of New Jersey and NJ Spotlight, one of the house organs of the same William Penn Foundation that has funded the DRBC and the Delaware Riverkeeper, tell us this is so.

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