Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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Energy extraction’s impact on air quality, water supply, and community infrastructure.

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Sunoco Logistics moves ahead on plans for natural gas liquids hub near Phila.

Reuters reports Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics is moving ahead on plans to build a natural gas liquids processing and export hub on the site of a former oil refinery in southeastern Pennsylvania. The newswire obtained records that show the company is seeking a permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to build a storage facility [...]

Bought by Halliburton, future unclear for Baker Hughes’ fracking disclosure policy

The drilling industry awoke Monday morning to the news that two major oil field services firms would become one. Halliburton will buy Baker Hughes for $34.6 billion, a union that EnergyWire reports will “create a powerhouse in the hydraulic fracturing business.” Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger are the three biggest suppliers of oil and gas development [...]

City Council, PUC debate future of Philadelphia’s gas works

Two days of hearings before Philadelphia City Council on the city’s energy future included talk of public-private partnerships and environmental stewardship. Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Nutter took his case for selling Philadelphia’s natural gas utility to a more sympathetic audience. Philadelphia Energy Solutions CEO Phil Rinaldi warned the council they could hold the city back from becoming an [...]

Studies show naturally occurring methane in Northeast PA water

A pair of studies released today by the U.S Geological Survey found low-to-moderate concentrations of naturally occurring methane in private water wells in Wayne and Pike Counties– a region of the state without Marcellus Shale drilling. Those two counties fall under the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Basin Commission, which currently has a moratorium on fracking. [...]

Republicans win big with gas industry donations

The gas industry has spent almost $50 million to lobby state lawmakers, and try to influence elections since 2007. That’s according to a report out Thursday by Common Cause of Pennsylvania. “Marcellus Money” tracks campaign and lobbying dollars that must be reported to Pennsylvania’s Department of State. But Common Cause director Barry Kauffman says the [...]

Pew survey finds declining support for fracking

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows public support for fracking has declined since last year. In a survey conducted last week, 41 percent of respondents said they favor the increased use of fracking, while 47 percent say they are opposed. Enthusiasm has dwindled since Pew surveyed people in March 2013. Back then, [...]

Pennsylvania’s frack ponds now number more than 500

In 2005, Pennsylvania had 11 frack water pits. Just eight years later, aerial maps show that number has jumped to 529. It’s unclear how many of these sites store fresh water used for fracking, and how many store the toxic wastewater that results from oil and gas drilling operations. The Department of Environmental Protection could [...]

Wolf picks former challenger, DEP secretary McGinty for chief of staff

Pennsylvania’s Governor-elect Tom Wolf has tapped Katie McGinty, a former challenger and state environmental protection secretary, to be his chief of staff. After finishing fourth in the June primary, McGinty led the Fresh Start political action committee that campaigned on behalf of Wolf and other democrats. She will help with the transition to the next [...]

Changing climate changing forests: How best to help Pennsylvania’s woods

In a 19th-century farmhouse deep in northern Pennsylvania’s Bradford County, Nancy Baker is looking at family photos dating back four generations. One shows her grandfather with a team of horses on clear cut land. Another shows her mother and aunt on the same farm as a small child. Baker also has a series of aerial [...]

Philadelphia energy hub debate centers on city’s gas works

Business leaders are calling on the Philadelphia City Council to reconsider spiking a deal to sell its city’s gas works. Meanwhile, some environmental groups are celebrating it as a small victory in their fight against plans for an energy-centric future for Philadelphia. Business leaders bemoan lack of “political will” Philadelphia Gas Works is not just [...]

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