As the year winds down, we’re looking back at some of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s best radio reporting.
From an unconventional election season, to continued controversies over pipelines, and a global climate conference, we covered a lot of ground on the airwaves in 2016.
Take another listen:
In 2016 Pennsylvania’s drilling industry went through a particularly rough patch, laying off thousands of workers and drastically cutting spending, amid low natural gas prices.
The idea behind the “Philadelphia energy hub” is to revive the region’s once-thriving manufacturing scene using Marcellus Shale natural gas. It’s proven to be easier said than done, and may be a plan that’s unlikely to materialize with the departure of its chief visionary.
Pipelines criss-cross the countryside and lie scattered beneath the urban landscape. They bring us water, natural gas, gasoline. What if someone came knocking on your door wanting to put one through your front yard? That’s exactly what is happening across Pennsylvania right now, as pipeline companies use eminent domain to secure property from landowners who don’t want to accept the company’s offer of compensation.
Four years ago StateImpact Pennsylvania visited Towanda, Bradford County, in Pennsylvania’s northern tier to see how the gas boom was changing the pace of life. We returned in 2016 to see what happens after the drill rigs leave town.
In June, during state budget negotiations Governor Tom Wolf found some common ground with the Republican-led legislature on bills affecting climate change policy and regulations for the oil and gas industry. But the compromises created a growing rift between his administration and environmentalists.
Ahead of the presidential election, we visited to Greene County– a coal community and one of the places in Pennsylvania that’s been shifting from blue to red. As times change for mining towns, we found a lot of support for Donald Trump.
One thing we can say about this year’s presidential election, it’s didn’t follow the rules of the game. Take the oil and gas industry, for example. Trump got peanuts from one of the GOP’s most reliable donor base. But the incoming president has rewarded the industry with the nomination of Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the EPA, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry as energy secretary.
With billions of dollars on the line for projects across the Pennsylvania, oil and gas industry executives are increasingly concerned about public opposition to pipelines.
Donald Trump’s election shocked delegates and activists assembled in Marrakech for two weeks of climate talks last month. With the role of the federal government in doubt, some see American cities and states serving as a place-holder for U.S. participation.
Although disappointed by the election of Donald Trump, many participants at the COP22 climate conference in Morocco last month left inspired to work even harder on climate change issues.