Susan Phillips

Susan Phillips tells stories about the consequences of political decisions on people's every day lives. She has worked as a reporter for WHYY since 2004. Susan's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election resulted in a story on the front page of the New York Times. In 2010 she traveled to Haiti to cover the earthquake. That same year she produced an award-winning series on Pennsylvania's natural gas rush called "The Shale Game." She received a 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award for her work covering natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. She has also won several Edward R. Murrow awards for her work with StateImpact. In 2013/14 she spent a year at MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow. She has also been a Metcalf Fellow, an MBL Logan Science Journalism Fellow and reported from Marrakech on the 2016 climate talks as an International Reporting Project Fellow. A graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, she earned her Bachelor's degree in International Relations from George Washington University.

Latest by Susan Phillips


In this April 23, 2010 photo, a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site is seen near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County. So vast is the wealth of natural gas locked into dense rock deep beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio that some geologists estimate it's enough to supply the entire East Coast for 50 years. But freeing it requires a powerful drilling process called hydraulic fracturing or

People carry a cooler while strolling at the boardwalk on their way to a beach spot at the New Jersey shore, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Seaside Heights, N.J.

Homeowners down the shore stand to lose millions from sea level rise

Knowledge of sea level rise has not stopped building in vulnerable areas along the New Jersey and Delaware coasts
By Susan Phillips

Crews work to stabilize sinkholes in a West Whiteland Township, Chester County neighborhood on March 3. The sinkholes appeared  near a construction site for the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Pipeline opponent wins Chester County seat in state House

Danielle Friel Otten says a pipeline being built yards from her back door motivated her to run
By Susan Phillips

Dennis Hajnik installs solar panels on a roof in Bryn Mawr.

Philadelphia plans a massive solar plant in Adams County

The city wants to use energy from the plant to power its operations
By Susan Phillips

Main Street in Marcus Hook dead ends at the Monroe Energy refinery.

Sen. Toomey raises alarms about Trump’s new ethanol policy

The issue pits corn-growers against refiners
By Susan Phillips

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry answers questions during a media availability following a tour of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. Perry said he was confident that Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory will continue to play significant roles in the nation's weapons program.

Trees cut on a Susquehanna County property in March 2016 to make way for the proposed Constitution Pipeline. The company has said it will fight a FERC order upholding New York State's denial of a permit for the project.

‘energy, explained’ podcast: How one family lost the farm to a failed pipeline project

In the latest episode of “energy, explained,” the new podcast from StateImpact Pennsylvania, Megan Holleran tells her family’s story — complete with an unexpected twist — to StateImpact’s Susan Phillips.

By Susan Phillips and Scott Blanchard

Flames erupt during a natural gas pipeline explosion in Greensburg, Pa. in 2016. The explosion, which burned one person, caused flames to shoot above nearby treetops in the largely rural Salem Township, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, and prompted authorities to evacuate businesses nearby.

Mariner East 2: What are natural gas liquids, and what happens if they leak?

The pipeline will carry volatile propane, ethane and butane, which has raised fears of many who live near it — even though explosions are rare. As part of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, we put together this video to explain what those substances are and how they act both inside the pipeline and if they got out, and how you should respond if there’s a leak.

By Susan Phillips and Tom Downing

President Donald Trump pumps his fist after putting on a hard hat given to him before speaking to the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump touts environmental deregulation in Philadelphia

The president told a group of electrical contractors that fewer rules are good for business
By Susan Phillips

A plane takes off from Philadelphia International Airport which is located near the Delaware River.

Rising sea levels could affect your flight. Airports at water’s edge are trying to make sure they don’t

Thirteen U.S. airports have runways that could be underwater by mid-century. Airports are working on ways to protect electrical equipment and infrastructure.

By Susan Phillips
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