UGI Energy Services has announced plans to build a new $60 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Meshoppen, Wyoming County. It will help meet peak demand for gas during cold days, and service emerging markets for LNG, like truck fleets, drill rigs, and industrial sites.
The plant will take locally produced natural gas– in its gaseous form– and cool it down to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, converting it into a liquid that can be stored and used as a transportation fuel.
“This is really more geared towards those growing markets,” says UGI spokesman Matt Dutzman. “That’s the reason why we’re building it. You’ll see heavy-duty trucks convert from diesel to natural gas. We currently serve UPS in Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg.”
Patrick Semansky / AP
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia with tank cars in the background. The Amtrak train, headed to New York City, derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
News footage of the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia Tuesday night shows nearby tank cars that look similar to the rail cars carrying crude oil or other hazardous material across the country each day. In aerial photos, it looks as if the Amtrak train, traveling at 100 miles an hour, nearly missed creating an even greater catastrophe, if it had struck an oil train, say, or a train carrying chlorine gas. Residents quickly took to twitter, wondering about the content of those tank cars, and whether it was hazardous.
“This could be just one more in a litany of near misses,” said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment, an activist group working to ban oil trains.
Conrail spokesman John Enright confirmed on Thursday that the nearby tanker cars did not contain flammable crude oil or ethanol. But he wouldn’t say what was in those cars, only that some cars in the yard were empty, and others weren’t.
But it wouldn’t be far-fetched for a passenger rail car to collide with an oil train, dozens of oil trains run through the state on their way to Philadelphia and South Jersey refineries each week. In fact, Norfolk Southern runs oil trains on a track that crosses above Amtrak lines, close to the derailment. Bakken crude oil from North Dakota crosses those lines daily, traveling across the Delaware river, and down to refineries in South Jersey. WHYY reporter Tom MacDonald says he saw the black tankers about 50 yards from the derailed Amtrak train. Oil trains frequently run parallel to commuter rail lines throughout the city.
But it’s still unclear what is in those tank cars sitting near the Amtrak crash site. Continue Reading
Matt Rourke / AP Photo
Protestors opposed to natural gas drilling rally in front of Philadelphia City Hall during the industry conference in September, 2012.
Since Marcellus Shale development boomed, Philadelphia has been a thorn in the side of the gas industry. The city has not seen many of the economic benefits that places like Williamsport, or Pittsburgh have. And it tends to be home to well-organized, experienced environmental groups used to taking on powerful adversaries.
When the industry invited Mayor Michael Nutter to speak at its annual convention in Philadelphia, Shale Insight, back in the fall of 2012, he chided them, as protestors chanted outside.
“Many of us are deeply concerned about water quality in our watershed,” Nutter told the assembled industry executives. “There is no economic opportunity for which jeopardizing our water quality is acceptable.”
Earlier that year, when the state legislature was about to vote on new oil and gas legislation, including the impact fee, Republican leaders and gas drilling proponents like Joe Scarnati had to strong arm members of the Philadelphia delegation into voting for it. Scarnati threatened to leave the city out in the cold when it came to revenue generated by gas drilling. Continue Reading
Saplings were planted along the edges of the site to simulate interim reclamation steps that can be taken by gas companies.