natural gas

Joe Ulrich, WITF

Pennsylvania’s state lawmakers voted less often for pro-environment legislation and more often for bills that would weaken environmental protection in the 2015-16 legislative session than they did the previous year, according to a tally published by four environmental groups on Wednesday.

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

The ramifications of the Obama administration’s recent decision to temporarily halt construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline are being felt throughout the country– particularly in Pennsylvania. Industry executives worry about growing public opposition to pipelines, while activists have been encouraged by the success of Native American protesters.

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has rejected Sunoco Logistics proposed plans to protect waterways and wetlands at risk of damage by construction of the company’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. Sunoco recently submitted what DEP refers to as “technically complete” permit applications necessary for moving forward with the pipeline project. DEP’s critiques of the permit applications come after a year of working with agency staff to resolve problems with the company’s initial proposals. 

Pipeline Protesters Show Solidarity With Native Americans In North Dakota

Sep 14, 2016
MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Protesters staged demonstrations across the country Tuesday in solidarity with Native Americans trying to stop an oil pipeline from being built on their land in North Dakota. The anti-pipeline demonstrations took place in Lebanon and Lancaster counties, as well as in Philadelphia, where President Obama made a visit to stump for his former rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Dougtone / Flickr

When the Marcellus Shale gas boom was taking off, Bradford County welcomed it with open arms. With more than 1,000 active wells, this region in north-central Pennsylvania became one of the most heavily drilled places in the state.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

Residents in one of the most drilled-on parts of Pennsylvania want to block companies from producing natural gas, citing anger over royalty payments. The supervisors in Wilmot Township, Bradford County plan to pass a resolutionTuesday demanding, “production be discontinued from wells where landowners are having their royalty checks diminished to nothing or nearly nothing.” 

Complaints Rise Over Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Permits

Sep 6, 2016
Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

As landowners battle Sunoco Logistics in court over eminent domain takings, critics are pushing back against the pipeline on another front — permits the project needs from the state to move forward with construction. 

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

A Pennsylvania appeals court has ruled that the Department of Environmental Protection has the authority to consider the impact of gas drilling wells on public and natural resources including, but not limited to, public drinking water supplies, parks, forests, game lands, habitats of rare and endangered species, historic and archeological sites, scenic rivers, and historic landmarks. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are expected to exceed those from coal for the first time in more than 40 years, according to data released Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

KATIE COLANERI/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Air pollutants from Pennsylvania’s natural gas production sites increased from 2013 to 2014, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Environmental Protection. 

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

Opponents of a plan to build a natural gas pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to central New Jersey registered their objections with federal regulators on Monday, and accused officials of trying to control public discussion on the controversial project. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Friends and foes of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 plan to build two natural gas liquids pipelines across southern Pennsylvania lined up to support or attack the plan in equal measures at a public meeting called by the Department of Environmental Protectionin West Chester on Wednesday evening.

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Obama Administration instructed federal agencies to factor climate change impacts into required environmental reviews of large projects. The White House Council on Environmental Quality released its guidance this week, six years after the original draft proposal. The move clarifies reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania is up despite a drop in the number of new wells. The Department of Environmental Protection released its 2015 annual oil and gas report on Monday, detailing such things as the number of wells drilled, locations, and inspections. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The new head of the Department of Environmental Protection says he hopes his staff can work quickly to resurrect regulations for the conventional oil and gas industry that got tossed out during the annual state budget negotiations in Harrisburg. 

Former Governor Ed Rendell said he regrets putting economic gain ahead of environmental protection at the start of Pennsylvania’s shale gas boom. Speaking at a DNC event hosted by Politico in Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday, Rendell said fracking has risks but those can be mitigated.

futureshape / flickr

On the morning of April 29, a natural gas transmission line exploded in a field in Salem Township in western Pennsylvania. The blast was so powerful it ripped a 12-foot crater into the landscape, burned a section of the field with a quarter-mile radius and threw a 25-foot section of the 30-inch steel pipeline 100 feet away.

What's Next For Oil Pipeline Under Great Lakes?

Jul 25, 2016
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION

(WBFO) It’s known as Line 5 and it carries about 20 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids. But because it’s 63-years-old, environmental activists say the line is past its useful life and poses a threat to the lakes. 

SUSAN PHILLIPS / STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A plan to build the controversial PennEast natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey took a step forward on Friday when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the project’s environmental impacts could be reduced to “less than significant levels” if it adopts certain mitigation measures.

CREDIT KERRY JOBE VIA AP

Federal regulators are requiring a natural gas pipeline company to conduct more testing and take corrective actions on three nearby lines, following an April 29 explosion in Westmoreland County that sent a man to the hospital with severe burns.

PA Regulators Unveil Updated Oil And Gas Map

Jul 20, 2016
John Ulrich / WITF

The state Department of Environmental Protection has unveiled an updated version of its interactive mapping tool for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas wells. “Making such data available and easy to use promotes transparency and allows the public to generate the information they want on demand,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a statement.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A company constructing a pipeline system in Butler County to connect gas wells to a processing plant will pay $1.5 million for causing a landslide into a stream, and discharging sediment in to a wetland. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says Stonehenge Appalachia has entered a consent order with the agency and agreed to pay the fine. 

Compressor Stations Open New Front In Fracking Debate

Jul 18, 2016
Joanna Richards

Back in February, 300 people crowded into a school gym in Medina County, Ohio, to lob questions, concerns—and some unvarnished anger—at state environmental regulators. At issue was the siting of a new natural gas compressor station along the planned NEXUS pipeline—a 250-mile transmission line being built to carry gas from Ohio to Chicago,  southeast Michigan and Ontario.

Report: Gas Impact Fee Revenue Will Keep Declining

Jul 15, 2016
Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania will continue to see less money from natural gas drilling, according to a new analysis from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. This year the drilling impact fees brought in $187.7 million– the lowest amount ever. The IFO projects revenue will continue to decline next year, potentially setting a new record low. 

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania

A state appeals court dealt a blow to property owners fighting eminent domain takings by Sunoco Logistics on Thursday. Commonwealth Court ruled that in the case of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, Sunoco is a public utility subject to regulation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which it says granted the company a certificate of public convenience that extends to all 17 counties along the hotly contested pipeline’s path. 

The Hunt For Methane Leaks Goes High Tech

Jul 11, 2016
Photo: Reid Frazier

Up a bumpy road in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, a team of researchers park their van, turn on a half-million dollars of equipment, and start another round of trying to solve a climate riddle. They are in rural Susquehanna County looking for methane—the powerful greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas.

KATIE COLANERI/STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A renewed fight over whether to allow natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin intensified when a leading environmental group joined a lawsuit defending a de facto moratorium on gas development in the region.

EPA Raises Concerns About Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Jul 8, 2016
KIM PAYNTER / WHYY

The Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline. In a letter sent last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the EPA criticizes FERC’s draft environmental impact statement, which found the pipeline would not create significant adverse impacts.

PA Explosion Heats Up Concerns Over Gas Pipelines

Jul 7, 2016
Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

A tornado, a giant storm, an airplane crashing. That’s how neighbors describe the sound of the explosion that took place at 8:13 a.m. on April 29, in a field in Salem Township, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. 

LINDSAY LAZARSKI / WHYY/NEWSWORKS

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is not required to examine the upstream impacts of natural gas development when reviewing the environmental impacts of new liquefied natural gas export facilities under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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