Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

Latest Posts

The curious case of the smallmouth bass

For the last 10 years, a mystery has been unfolding in the Susquehanna River watershed. Young smallmouth bass have been found with open sores and lesions. Many of the male fish that make it to adulthood have female sexual characteristics. The smallmouth bass population has dropped, threatening the state’s $3.4 billion recreational fishing industry. What’s causing these [...]

Study: residents closer to gas wells report more health issues

A new study has found that residents in western Pennsylvania living close to Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites were twice as likely to report health problems than those living farther away. Public health researchers from Yale and the University of Washington went door-to-door and surveyed the health of 492 adults and children living in 180 [...]

Study finds flawed well casings– not fracking– caused tainted water

A new study finds water contamination linked to shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania and Texas was caused in some cases by faulty well casings– not hydraulic fracturing. The study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined 133 water wells with high levels of methane. Researchers found the contamination was either naturally [...]

Gas drillers still ignoring law to include women and minorities

In an industry heavily dominated by white men, most gas drilling companies continue to ignore a state law requiring them to make efforts to include minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses in contracting opportunities. As StateImpact Pennsylvania previously reported, last year marked the first time drillers had to fill out a legally-mandated diversity survey. Most of [...]

Environmental groups sue to halt delivery of crude oil in old rail cars

Two environmental groups have filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation in attempts to halt the delivery of crude oil in old rail tank cars that are prone to puncture. More from the Associated Press: The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics says the agency failed to respond to a legal petition [...]

Climate controversy pushing scientists to become better communicators

Explaining science is something reporters, especially science reporters, must do. But most of us are not scientists. Instead, we rely on the type of scientist who is good at telling stories, good at translating what happens in the lab to people who may not have been around an Erlenmeyer flask since high school. So what [...]

Corbett says public misunderstands impacts of gas tax

Republican Governor Tom Corbett said at a news conference Tuesday that the public may be misinformed about the consequences a severance tax could have on the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. A new poll from the University of Michigan shows a majority of residents support a tax on gas production – a measure Corbett has long [...]

First public CNG station opens in Philadelphia, despite low demand

The first filling station for natural gas vehicles in Philadelphia is now open to the public, bringing the total number of stations offering compressed natural gas (CNG) in Pennsylvania up to 26. Natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and diesel and despite an abundant supply, it has been slow to catch on as a transportation fuel – [...]

Residents forced to evacuate after fire at western Pa. gas well pad

As many as 20 homes were evacuated after a fire broke out early Saturday at a Hilcorp Energy natural gas well pad in western Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported. The fire in Shenango Township was the second incident at a Hilcorp site in Mercer County this month. More from The Sharon Herald:  A resident reported seeing 50-foot-high [...]

New study will examine impact of shale boom on families

Here’s the question that’s been nagging Penn State University researcher Molly Martin for years: When it comes to a child’s success, how much does money matter? Martin says that’s been a tough one for sociologists like her to answer. That is, until the Marcellus Shale boom. “It’s very rare that you can separate the money [...]

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