Energy. Environment. Economy.


The laws and regulations dictating how energy is extracted and transported.

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Tank cars moving crude by rail through Pa. need a makeover

A series of high-profile derailments hasn’t stopped the flow of trains hauling crude oil through Pennsylvania to refineries along the Delaware River. This week, PublicSource takes a look at the tank cars, known as DOT-111s, that are holding all this oil. They’re the same cars that were involved in a 2006 derailment in New Brighton, Pa. [...]

DEP chief says he’s tried to change the tone at the agency

State Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo says when he took charge of the agency nearly a year ago, he wanted to change its perception. “There was this sense–at least publicly–we were very tight with information and not necessarily transparent in what we were doing.” Speaking today at Widener Law in Harrisburg, Abruzzo says [...]

House panel approves bill to limit gas royalty deductions

The state House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has approved a bill aimed at preventing gas companies from shortchanging landowners on royalty money. The committee voted to send HB 1684 to the full House for consideration. The bill is an effort to clarify the state’s Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979, which states an oil and gas lease [...]

What’s still at stake in the Act 13 court battle?

It appears that much of Pennsylvania’s two-year-old oil and gas law, known as Act 13, will remain intact despite a continuing court battle over its constitutionality. The Commonwealth Court issued an order this week stating the parties in the case have agreed to argue a narrow set of issues– not including Pennsylvania’s gas drilling impact fee, [...]

House panel weighs gas royalty legislation

The state House Environmental Resources and Energy committee is weighing a proposal to restrict natural gas companies from withholding royalty money from Pennsylvania landowners. A 1979 state law requires oil and gas companies to pay a minimum 12.5 percent royalty to landowners who lease their property for drilling. House Bill 1684 was proposed in the [...]

Water utility executive tapped to lead Delaware River Basin Commission

The multi-state agency that manages water in the Delaware River Basin has tapped a Pennsylvania American Water executive to be its new leader. Steve Tambini will become the Delaware River Basin Commission‘s fourth executive director. While the commission’s jobs include managing water quality, water withdrawals and flood mitigation, one of its most salient responsibilities in [...]

DEP proposes $2.3 million fine for 2008 gasoline spill from Sunoco pipeline

A 12,000-gallon gasoline spill from a ruptured pipeline in Westmoreland County in 2008 could cost Sunoco Logistics Partners more than $2.3 million in civil penalties from the state. The Department of Environmental Protection filed a complaint Friday with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board asking it to impose a fine of at least $2.38 million against [...]

Lt. Governor Cawley: Chesapeake Energy royalty practices are ‘egregious’

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley sat down with StateImpact Pennsylvania recently to talk about how the Corbett administration is handling allegations of fraud against the state’s biggest natural gas driller– Chesapeake Energy. Corbett recently reached out to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and asked her to investigate complaints the company is cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of royalty money. [...]

Pa. investigating complaints of spiking winter electric bills

The state agency that oversees Pennsylvania’s utilities has received numerous complaints from residents who say their electric bills have unexpectedly and dramatically increased this winter. The Public Utility Commission says it’s gotten 2,580 complaints since January 1, the Associated Press reports.  The PUC and the state attorney general’s office say they are investigating the spikes [...]

DEP fined oil and gas companies $2.5 million last year

Oil and gas companies were fined $2.5 million by Pennsylvania environmental regulators last year for violations at well sites and pipeline routes. The 2013 total was the third highest in the three decades of oil and gas penalties the Department of Environmental Protection tracks in its public compliance report. Oil and gas companies were fined [...]

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