natural gas

JON HURDLE / STATEIMPACT PA

Eight townships or boroughs along or close to the route in Delaware and Chester Counties have published resolutions or proclamations as recently as December saying their residents would be vulnerable to releases of toxic and flammable gases if there was a leak or explosion.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

A Republican state senator wants the legislature, rather than state environmental regulators, to control the money generated by oil and gas violations in Pennsylvania.Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R- Venango) recently sent out a co-sponsorship memo seeking support for new legislation. He sees it a separation of powers issue. 

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

Within the next decade, the U.S. could be exporting more energy than it imports, something that has not occurred since the early 1950′s.

Federal regulators say a large natural gas transmission line planned to run through parts of central Pennsylvania will create limited environmental impacts. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline Friday.

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Nine months after heavily armed federal marshals patrolled a tree-cutting operation for the proposed Constitution Pipeline on a northeast Pennsylvania maple tree farm, the pipeline’s builders and its critics are awaiting a court ruling that may determine whether the project can proceed. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Landowners battling pipeline companies over eminent domain takings got an early Christmas gift from the Commonwealth Court in the form of a new legal maneuver this week. An attorney representing a family fighting Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline in Huntingdon County will be able to use a recent Supreme Court ruling to try to strengthen their case. 

Shell's Air And Water Permits Debated At DEP Hearing

Dec 16, 2016
Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Activists asked state regulators to impose strict air and water pollution controls on Shell’s planned ethane cracker in Beaver County Thursday. They spoke at a Department of Environmental Protection hearing on the plant’s proposed air and water pollution permits. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Under Governor Tom Wolf, the state Department of Environmental Protection pledged to renew its focus on environmental justice. The idea is to protect marginalized communities, such as minorities and people in poverty, who often bear the brunt of industrial development.

SCOTT DETROW, StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a revision from its earlier draft report on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, says in its final study that fracking can impact water supplies “under some circumstances.” The report details the circumstances where water has been impacted, and provides guidance on how to avoid water contamination. 

Shell Asks For Local Support Fof Chemical Plant

Dec 14, 2016
Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Township supervisors in Potter Township, Beaver County heard testimony on the impacts that Shell’s ethane cracker might have on their community Tuesday night. The supervisors held a hearing on the company’s request for a conditional use permit from the township, a necessary step in the company’s plan to build a multi-billion dollar chemical plant on the banks of the Ohio River 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. 

Charges Dropped In Sunoco Pipeline Case

Dec 13, 2016
Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Charges have been dropped against three people, including a retiree and her daughter, who objected to tree clearing on their family’s Huntingdon County property last spring, to make way for a new natural gas liquids pipeline. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is taking steps to curb harmful air emissions from natural gas sites. At an advisory committee meeting Thursday, regulators unveiled new draft permit requirements

KIM PAYNTER/ WHYY / WHYY/NEWSWORKS.ORG

State environmental regulators announced $3.5 million in penalties against gas driller Rice Energy, for violations related to its well sites and pipelines. The state Department of Environmental Protection says the issues spanned several years and included failures to secure proper permits, maintain erosion and sedimentation controls, and wastewater releases.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania is appealing a court ruling that temporarily blocked sections of new gas drilling regulations, saying they are “commonsense” rules designed to protect the public and took years to develop with the help of the industry. 

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.

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