natural gas

Bill Would Limit PA’s Ability To Regulate Methane

Jul 5, 2016
Joe Ulrich, WITF

A bill recently proposed in the state Senate seeks to limit the Wolf administration’s efforts to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Methane is the main component of natural gas; it’s a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.


A Pennsylvania House committee on Wednesday approved an amendment that would exempt conventional oil and gas activities from proposed regulations. The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee easily passed the amendment to SB 279, which creates a council to advise the Department of Environmental Protection on regulation to distinguish between conventional and unconventional oil and gas development. 

Shell Announces Plans To Build Ethane Cracker In PA

Jun 8, 2016

Shell Chemical announced Tuesday it’s moving ahead with plans to build a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania. The announcement caps years of anticipation that the Dutch-based conglomerate would build a petrochemical plant near Pittsburgh that would convert natural gas from the region’s gas fields into the building blocks of plastics.


An environmental group is challenging a zoning ordinance that allows gas drilling throughout a southwest Pennsylvania township, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional, and violates a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the state’s controversial Act 13 oil and gas law. 

A federal public health report on Dimock’s much-publicized water woes found threatening levels of chemicals in 27 private water wells, and explosive levels of methane in 17 private water wells during a six-month period in 2012. The results were based on samples taken four years ago, while a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the area was in place. 


A new lawsuit seeks to jump start natural gas drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania along the Delaware River where a defacto moratorium on Marcellus Shale gas production has been in place for six years. The federal suit filed by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group challenges the authority of the Delaware River Basin Commission to regulate natural gas drilling. 


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the target of a week-long series of protests by pipeline opponents who say the agency is a “rubber stamp” for industry. Seven people were arrested blocking the driveway entrance to the agency on Monday, while others plan to picket the homes of FERC commissioners, and disrupt the agency’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Mike Groll / AP Photo


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Constitution Pipeline Company has appealed New York's denial of a critical permit and asked a federal court to take away the state's permitting authority for the project. 

Joe Ulrich, WITF

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever federal standardsThursday aimed at curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. It’s part of the Obama administration’s broader plan to combat climate change.




(WRVO) The dispute over whether an energy company should be storing natural gas in salt caverns underneath Seneca Lake reaches a milestone this week.

Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

More than 200 residents packed a Western Pa. church Wednesday night to hear from the company that owns a pipeline that exploded last month. The crowd, at times edgy, posed questions about the explosion and pipeline safety to four Spectra Energy officials over a period of two hours.


The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project won preliminary approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday, paving the way for the $3 billion expansion of the Transco system to move forward as environmentalists simultaneously filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the pipeline.

A 15-mile long section of Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission line, which exploded last week in Salem Township, Westmoreland County, will remain shut down until the company takes a number of corrective actions.

PA House Panel Votes To Block Drilling Regulations

May 4, 2016
Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania


For the second time in less than a month, a House committee has voted to block tougher regulations aimed at Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. It’s the latest move in the ongoing battle over the rules between the Republican-led legislature and Governor Tom Wolf’s Democratic administration. 


A 26-year-old man who was badly burned in a natural gas pipeline explosion last week has been upgraded from critical to fair condition at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A man has been taken to the hospital with serious burns after a 36-inch interstate natural gas transmission pipeline exploded next to his home in Westmoreland County. About a dozen homes have been evacuated.


State environmental regulators are planning a major expansion of air quality monitoring, which will be focused on Marcellus Shale natural gas infrastructure.

Natural gas infrastructure projects are getting a $12 million boost in a budget bill Governor Tom Wolf has allowed to become law without his signature. The money shifts from the state’s Alternative Energy Investment Act and will be used as grants to hospitals, businesses, schools and local governments to expand access to natural gas.

NRCgov / Flickr


Opponents of new pipelines carrying natural gas extracted via hydrofracking have been having a good week. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Ahead of a New York State decision on the Constitution Pipeline, supporters rallied in downtown Binghamton on Thursday. The Cuomo Administration is expected to approve or deny water quality permits for the pipeline by the end of next week. Approval would allow the Constitution Pipeline company to take a big step forward in making the project a reality.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News


Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended. 

Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments Over LNG Exports

Apr 20, 2016
Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

The battle over Dominion Energy’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal in Lusby, MD, is now in the hands of a federal appeals court, even as construction on the facility continues.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

 An interfaith group of religious organizations held a rally at the state Capitol Monday, calling on Governor Tom Wolf to halt natural gas development. About 50 people attended the event and asked the governor for what they called a “moral-torium” on unconventional gas development and related infrastructure, such as pipelines.

US Proposes Safety Rules For Natural Gas Pipelines

Mar 21, 2016
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

Following a series of explosions and accidents the federal government announced Thursday it would expand safety rules for natural gas pipelines. Regulators cited a 2010 explosion in San Bruno, California that left eight people dead and injured more than 50.

Mike Groll / AP Photo


The Constitution Pipeline Company has changed its planned completion date.

PA Supreme Court Weighs Major Gas Drilling Laws

Mar 10, 2016
Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

  Decisions on two major gas drilling cases are now in the hands of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard Wednesday in Philadelphia. One case includes unresolved issues from the 2013 Supreme Court decision Robinson v. Commonwealth, the controversial and wide ranging environmental ruling that struck down parts of the state’s oil and gas law.

57 Protesters Arrested At Natural Gas Storage Facility

Mar 9, 2016

(WRVO) For the past 17 months, demonstrators periodically have been blocking the entrance to a planned natural gas storage facility on Seneca Lake.  Monday, in the biggest protest yet, police arrested 57 people including writer and climate activist Bill McKibben.

Mike Groll / AP Photo

Federal regulators have approved the Constitution Pipeline’s request to cut Pennsylvania. There's no decision yet on New York. 

Constitution Pipeline Company.

The company behind the Constitution Pipeline wants permission to cut down trees along its route. The project aims to transport Pennsylvania’s natural gas through upstate New York and to eastern markets. It got federal approval in 2014 but still needs New York State to award water quality permits. After that, federal regulators can give it the “all clear.”

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News


The energy company Kinder Morgan has formally applied to install a pipeline connecting Pennsylvania gas wells with Massachusetts.