natural gas

PA Audit Criticizes Local Use Of Gas Impact Fees

Dec 7, 2016
Stock Exchange / Flickr

Pennsylvania counties and municipalities mishandled millions of dollars meant to offset the negative effects of the Marcellus Shale gas boom, according to a report published Tuesday by the state Auditor General.  

Panda Power

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is considering $97,000 in penalties against a Dallas, Texas based private equity firm building three natural gas power plants in Pennsylvania.

Matt Richmond / WSKGnews

Coal is projected to surpass natural gas as the dominant fuel source in electric power generation this winter, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Joe Ulrich, WITF

Pennsylvania regulators are soon planning to introduce new regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, despite expectations President-Elect Donald Trump may seek to roll back new federal rules. Methane is the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. 

Google Street View Cars Seeking Methane Leaks

Nov 21, 2016
Pennsylvania DEP

Leaking methane from natural gas pipes in Pittsburgh will be detected by sensors attached to Google’s Street View cars under an agreement announced on Tuesday. The tech giant will be working with Carnegie Mellon University, the Environmental Defense Fund, the People’s Natural Gas utility, and the office of Governor Tom Wolf to develop a map of methane leaks in the city, officials said. The program is the first in Pennsylvania and follows others in 10 other U.S. cities. 

PA Lawmakers Discuss Improvement To Pipeline Safety

Nov 18, 2016
MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

State lawmakers, regulators, oil and gas industry representatives, and concerned citizens discussed ways to improve pipeline safety at a joint committee hearing Wednesday, following a building boom of new projects and several recent incidents in Pennsylvania including one work accident that killed a man and a pipeline explosion that left another man severely burned.

Election Overshadows Pipeline Protests Around USA

Nov 16, 2016
MATT ROURKE / AP PHOTO

Activists held a national “day of action” Tuesday to protest the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. Native American groups’ opposition to the project has gotten a lot of attention recently, but it’s just one of many pipeline battles going on across the country. And Donald Trump’s election and his stance in favor of fossil fuels are likely to mean those battles will continue. 

A recent decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to delay its environmental review of the controversial PennEast gas pipeline may indicate the agency is becoming more responsive to public concern over pipeline projects, but that could be reversed by new appointments to FERC’s board by the incoming Trump administration, analysts said. 

PA Has More Abandoned Wells Than Expected

Nov 15, 2016
SCOTT DETROW, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has more abandoned oil and gas wells than previously thought, and some are leaking large amounts of climate-damaging methane gas, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry could see more output, fewer environmental restrictions, and more pipelines to take its products to market, while its embattled coal industry may also get more help, following the stunning victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election, analysts said Wednesday.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration announced Tuesday it would begin accepting grant applications to fund up to $24 million in projects to make natural gas available to Pennsylvania schools, manufacturers, hospitals, and other businesses. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Eminent domain attorneys and their clients battling new pipelines in Pennsylvania courts feel they may have a new weapon in the fight against controversial projects like Sunoco’s Mariner East. The recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to toss out industry-friendly provisions of the state’s oil and gas law included eminent domain for gas storage.

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Supporters of a bill to improve protections for underground infrastructure such as gas pipelines criticized the passage of a watered-down version of the measure that extends the current law for a year without building in more safeguards. 

PANDA POWER FUNDS

State and local celebrated the commissioning Thursday of what’s been dubbed the first “Marcellus Shale” power plant. 

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

The state Department of Environmental Protection was back in court this week, facing a lawsuit from Marcellus Shale drillers over its new oil and gas regulations. 

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accused the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of failing to fully address climate change in its assessment of a new plan to build a natural gas pipeline through three states including Pennsylvania, adding a powerful new voice to claims that FERC takes a permissive approach to gas-industry projects.

Sunoco Logistics

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA continue to sample water downstream from a gasoline pipeline break in Lycoming County, and say so far no levels of petroleum have been detected that would risk public health. 

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Pipeline companies aren’t having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016. 

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

A federal task force has issued new safety recommendations for gas storage facilities, following the largest methane leak in U.S. history. The report released Tuesday comes in the wake of the massive leak at the Aliso Canyon storage field in Los Angles County, California, which sent more than 90,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere uncontrollably for nearly four months starting in October 2015, until it was finally sealed in February.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

State Senator Gene Yaw (R- Bradford) is sharply criticizing his fellow Pennsylvania public officials, for what he calls a lack of leadership on Marcellus Shale natural gas issues. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

An effort to preserve and expand a Pennsylvania law designed to protect underground pipes and cables from accidental damage by construction work has almost run out of time in Harrisburg. 

SCOTT DETROW

After wending their way through a convoluted, controversial five-year process, new regulations for Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale drillers are set to take effect Saturday. 

WILL VON DAUSTER / COURTESY OF NOAA

A new study from NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, puts a new twist on a tricky question about the impact of increased oil and gas production on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have detected increased rates of methane emissions globally since 2007.

Trade Group Seeks To Block New Drilling Rules

Oct 4, 2016
MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

An oil and gas trade group is seeking to block new Marcellus Shale drilling regulations scheduled to take effect later this week. The rules have been in development since 2011 and have been the subject of significant controversy

SUE OGROCKI

Chesapeake Energy, which is facing a royalty owners revolt here in Pennsylvania, will have to share more details of their accounting practices with the U.S. Department of Justice. The company revealed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the Justice Department has subpoenaed records on the gas driller’s accounting methods for “the acquisition and classification of oil and gas properties and related matters.” 

Court Gives PA Legislature Six Months To Fix Gas Law

Sep 30, 2016
MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania’s highest court struck down industry-friendly portions of the state’s 2012 oil and gas law Wednesday, giving a win to municipalities and environmental groups that challenged it. But one section dealing with how the public should be alerted when a spill happens remains in limbo. 

A private practice attorney representing the Public Utility Commission before the Supreme Court in the Robinson Township case, has told a Pittsburgh newspaper that he was discouraged by the court’s decision to toss aspects of the state’s oil and gas law saying “there’s an industry trying to bring prosperity to Pennsylvania and there seems to be a small cadre trying to kill it.”

AP Photo/David Smith

In a win for environmentalists and municipalities, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down  a number of provisions to the state’s oil and gas law. At issue were several items related to the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth, the controversial and wide ranging environmental ruling that eliminated parts of the state’s revised oil and gas law, known as Act 13.  

Emma Lee, WHYY

Environmental groups called on Monday for a fresh federal review of a plan to build the controversial PennEast natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey after newly published route changes cast further doubt on what critics say was already a flawed Draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

Delaware County’s Middletown Township decided on Monday to allow Sunoco Logistics to build its controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline through four parcels of public land but called for rigorous protections against leaks or explosions of natural gas liquids in light of  grave public concerns about the pipeline’s safety.

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