Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

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2014 Governor’s Race: Face off over the sweet spot on taxing Marcellus Shale

Here’s something Governor Tom Corbett and his democratic challenger Tom Wolf agree on: Each calls Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas a “game-changer” for the state’s economy. But they disagree on how to get the most out of the gas boom for all Pennsylvania residents. Comparisons to Texas keep coming up in the race. And natural [...]

Fracking in Texas helps the state’s public school fund top Harvard’s endowment

A fund that collects rents and royalties from oil and natural gas development to Texas public schools recently became the largest education endowment in the country. The publicly run endowment, called the Permanent School Fund, is worth $37.7 billion dollars. That’s $1.3 billion more than Harvard University’s $36.4 billion endowment. Jim Suydam, a spokesperson for [...]

Mind ‘the gap’: why more gas means more pipelines

Pennsylvania is producing more gas than it knows what to do with. Amid a push to export gas to foreign markets, there’s also a shift away from coal toward gas at electric power plants. Right now the state gets about 20 percent of its electricity from gas, but that’s expected to increase significantly. All these changes are [...]

Federal regulators approve Cove Point gas export terminal

Federal regulators have approved a proposal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Dominion’s Cove Point, Maryland terminal. The facility was originally designed to receive gas imports, but will now become the closest export terminal to the Marcellus Shale. As the domestic fracking boom has unleashed record amounts of natural gas and depressed prices, the industry has [...]

Travel the Turnpike with StateImpact Pennsylvania


Drivers traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike can see nearly every major form of energy from their car window. As the federal government pushes states to cut emissions that are leading to climate change, StateImpact Pennsylvania took a road trip down the toll road. We profiled five major energy sources along the way: coal, wind, nuclear, solar, [...]

Survey: Pennsylvanians like fracking more than New Yorkers

Pennsylvanians have a much more favorable view of shale gas development compared to their counterparts in New York, according to a new public opinion survey. The two states have taken vastly different approaches to the boom in Marcellus Shale drilling. The formation lies under large swaths of Pennsylvania and stretches into southern New York. While Pennsylvania welcomed [...]

Shell seeks to build docks for barges near proposed petrochemical plant

The Beaver County Times reports Shell Chemicals has filed a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build two docks and 24 smaller structures to moor barges near the site of its proposed ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania. From the article: When asked whether the application signaled a new level of commitment from Shell, [spokesman [...]

Shell taps Utica shale in northern Pennsylvania

Royal Dutch Shell announced today it has successfully drilled two new discovery gas wells in the Utica shale in Tioga county, signaling  the formation could be bigger than previously thought. The company has drilling rights to about 430,000 acres in the discovery area and says the wells show the Utica’s “sweet spot” extends into Northern [...]

Gas industry survey shows job growth slowing

Job growth in the Marcellus Shale industry continues, but it’s slowing down. That’s according to an annual workforce survey published today by the gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Companies expect to hire 2,000 new workers this year– a 50 percent drop from the 4,000 jobs they projected last year. Over the past [...]

Protesters arrested opposing natural gas exports

Two dozen environmental activists were arrested Monday outside the Washington D.C. offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They were protesting the proposed Cove Point export terminal for liquefied natural gas. If approved by FERC, the facility would be the closest gas export terminal to the Marcellus Shale. About 40 protesters participated in the demonstration. [...]

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