Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

Latest Posts

New York State bans fracking

New York state officials have decided to ban hydraulic fracturing within their borders, citing health concerns. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement at an end-of-year press conference in Albany Wednesday afternoon. From the New York Times: The state has had a de facto ban on the procedure for more than five years, predating Mr. Cuomo’s [...]

PA lawmaker floats new severance tax proposal as industry pushes back

State senator Jim Brewster plans to introduce a bill that would enact a 5 percent tax on Marcellus Shale gas production, and dedicate all of that revenue toward education. The western Pennsylvania lawmaker, from McKeesport, says the tax would generate between $700 million to $1 billion for public schools. “My ‘Extraction for Education’ proposal is [...]

Leaking city gas pipes pose climate hazard

Philadelphia has some of the leakiest natural gas distribution pipes in the nation. This comes with an environmental cost, because natural gas is primarily made up of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane emissions are getting more attention from climate scientists, environmentalists and policy makers because they actually have a much more immediate impact on [...]

As pipelines proliferate, Pennsylvania sees next phase of gas boom

The surge in drilling has meant trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are being pumped out of Pennsylvania every year. And now billions of dollars are flooding into the state for new pipeline projects to move that gas to market. It’s the next phase of the fracking boom: energy companies are building their own sort [...]

Wolf names more members to transition team

Governor-elect Tom Wolf has announced more members to his transition team. They will work with the committee heads he named last week and the outgoing Corbett administration to identify issues and challenges at state agencies. You can read the full list of transition team members here. Here are the names at the state agencies most [...]

Report criticizes expanded drilling on public land

A report out today from the environmental advocacy group, PennEnvironment, outlines the threats posed to public parks and forests by expanding natural gas development. “Sadly, politicians from both sides of the aisle—Democrats and Republicans alike– have used their positions of power to press for opening up these public lands,” says Lina Blount, a field associate [...]

Study: Abandoned wells could be significant source of greenhouse gas

A new study out this week shows that Pennsylvania’s abandoned oil and gas wells could be a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Pennsylvania is littered with old oil and gas wells that date back to the 1860’s. Unmapped and unmonitored, these wells can turn into pollution pathways for oil, gas and brine. About 12,000 [...]

Wolf taps former DEP secretary for policy chief

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf has tapped former state environmental protection secretary John Hanger to be his Secretary of Planning and Policy. In this high-ranking post, Hanger says he will help the governor develop and implement his policy agenda, which includes plans for a severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling and reinstating a moratorium on new [...]

VIDEO: The explosive oil train boom

The Weather Channel has teamed up with InsideClimate News to take a look at the explosive growth in oil-by-rail shipments across North America. As the fracking boom unleashes massive amounts of domestic oil, much of it is flowing out of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale by train. As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, the Bakken oil [...]

Study: Greenhouse gas emissions from industry concentrated in two sources

The Environmental Protection Agency says oil and natural gas production is the largest industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S. Methane is 84 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in the short term.  So climate scientists and activists are starting to focus more and more on reducing methane. And they say natural [...]

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