Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

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Range Resources cuts spending, opens Mariner East pipeline

Pennsylvania’s most prolific gas drilling company announced Thursday it’s planning to trim capital spending by nearly half-a-billion dollars in 2015, citing softening energy markets. Nearly 95 percent of the company’s capital budget is targeted for the Marcellus Shale. From the Pittsburgh Business Times: Its 2015 capital plan will be reduced from the $1.3 billion announced [...]

Penn students jump into the fracking fray with a new technology

One of the pressing questions regarding fracking is whether or not the chemicals used to help pry the gas from tight rock formations like the Marcellus Shale leaks or migrates to drinking water supplies. But testing water for contamination and linking it directly to gas drilling has proven problematic. Imagine if you could determine whether [...]

Natural gas prices down 30 percent since last month

The Associated Press reports natural gas has dropped 30 percent in the past month, which means consumers can expect lower heating bills and electricity prices. The price of gas was at $3.15 per 1,000 cubic feet on Tuesday– down from nearly $4.50 in late November. From the AP: A warm December and plentiful supplies are [...]

Feds approve another pipeline expansion to accommodate Marcellus Shale

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved an addition to the interstate Transco pipeline that will help more Marcellus Shale gas get to New Jersey. The Leidy Southeast line is essentially a series of “loops” totaling about 30 miles planned for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. FERC overruled objections from environmentalists who say the line [...]

Wolf’s gas tax estimate might be too high

The Associated Press reports Governor-elect Tom Wolf may have been hundreds of millions of dollar off in his estimate of how much money a gas severance tax could generate for Pennsylvania. On the campaign trail, Wolf repeatedly said his proposed five percent tax on gas production could bring in $1 billion.

UIL pulls the plug on PGW

UIL Holdings has decided to end its agreement to buy Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion dollars. The deal fell through in November after Philadelphia City Council failed to hold a hearing, and approve the sale. “Unfortunately, we had no choice but to terminate our efforts in the City of Philadelphia to acquire the PGW [...]

Shale bubble burst on the horizon? New report questions government’s rosy forecast

Marcellus Shale production could peak in just five years, plateau, and then tail off quickly, according to new research by a team of petroleum engineers at the University of Texas. The UT forecast is significantly less optimistic than recent reports issued by the Energy Information Administration, a government agency. The research is reported today in [...]

Thanksgiving gas prices fall to lowest levels in five years

Good news for the estimated 41 million Americans who plan travel more than 50 miles by car this Thanksgiving week–gasoline prices are continuing to decline, averaging $2.82 per gallon. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it’s the lowest price heading into Thanksgiving since 2009. What’s behind the price drop? Part of the reason is the [...]

Pennsylvania gets no property tax from expanding pipelines

While Pennsylvania gains no tax revenue from expanding pipelines, that’s not the case across the river in New Jersey. The Allentown Morning-Call reports on how the proposed Penn East pipeline is expected to generate $54,000 for Delaware Township, New Jersey, and $329,000 each year to the local county and school district. But on the Pennsylvania side [...]

EPA boosts rules for methane reporting by oil and gas producers

The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to require oil and gas operators to improve how they measure methane leaks. Climate scientists and environmentalists increasingly worry about the warming aspects of methane. Although carbon dioxide has been the focus in the fight against global warming, methane is actually more potent in the short run. And as [...]

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