Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Background

A look at how energy extraction is reshaping Pennsylvania’s economy.

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Most drillers ignore law requiring inclusion of minorities and women

Pennsylvania’s natural gas producers have largely ignored a state law requiring efforts to include minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses in contracting opportunities. Last year, fewer than a third of the state’s gas operators replied to a legally-mandated survey asking them to document their use of small diverse businesses. Among the companies that did reply, about [...]

Winter price spikes drive 50K Pa. electric customers back to local suppliers

Electricity customers in Pennsylvania on variable rate plans suffered from sticker shock this winter when temperatures plunged and prices spiked. That’s driven at least 50,000 customers back to their local utilities since early March, according to the state Public Utility Commission. Rather than shopping around for electric suppliers, those customers are letting geography choose for them, [...]

Royalties bill stalled in state legislature

A bill aimed at guaranteeing minimum royalty payments to landowners who have leased their property for natural gas drilling has hit a snag in the state legislature, according to the Towanda Daily Review: Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday of the Bradford County Council of Republican Women, Baker, R-Wellsboro, said that the leadership of the [...]

Union groups supporting boom in gas-related jobs

Union groups are vocally supporting the jobs gains made by natural gas development, to the frustration of some environmental groups who continue to oppose it. From the Associated Press: “The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families,” said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers’ International Union, [...]

Pa. drill rig manufacturer taking the ‘rough’ out of roughnecking

As shale oil and gas production soars in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and North Dakota, the number of drill rigs towering over treetops is on the decline. Operators are becoming more efficient and advances in technology are driving other changes in oil and gas fields. Several hours away from where drillers are boring down into Pennsylvania’s [...]

Shell holds public meetings on proposed cracker plant

Shell is still weighing whether to build a multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in Beaver County. A spokesman for the company says it may spend another one or two years deciding. Although Shell first announced its interest in an industrial site outside Monaca over two years ago, Dan Carlson, who is general manager for new business [...]

Old debate over taxing Marcellus Shale getting new life

An old debate over taxing natural gas production in Pennsylvania has been getting new life. A Republican state representative from Bucks County has introduced legislation to create a severance tax on shale gas. Democrats running to unseat Governor Tom Corbett are also calling for a tax. Last week, a report by the state’s Independent Financial [...]

U.S. Census Bureau: mining is fastest-growing sector of economy

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction are the fastest-growing sectors of the nation’s economy, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The federal agency publishes an economic census every five years. This report examines national data from the year 2012. The previous economic census looked at 2007– before the recession hit. “In [...]

Businesses already betting on proposed ethane cracker in Beaver County

Royal Dutch Shell is still mulling over its proposal for a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Beaver County. However, businesses are already betting on the plant that would break down natural gas liquids into building blocks for manufacturing. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports new hotels and housing could be on the way to Beaver County as engineering [...]

Analysis finds Pa.’s effective tax rate on shale gas wells among lowest

Pennsylvania has one of the lowest effective tax rates on shale gas extraction, according to an analysis from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). The analysis only considers Marcellus gas wells going into production this year. It compares Pennsylvania against ten other shale gas-producing states around the country. “The states we examined were either a large [...]

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