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 travelled 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


Construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline has faced myriad problems, including damaged water supplies and sinkholes in a residential neighborhood in Chester County.

DEP fines Sunoco for damaging drinking water in Berks, Chester and Lebanon counties in 2017

Construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline resulted in cloudy water for some; others lost use of their wells
By Susan Phillips

Sunoco's Mariner East 2 pipeline construction on Pennell Road in Middletown Township. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

PUC allows restart of Mariner East 2 construction in parts of Chester County

The agency agreed to have Sunoco continue construction at eight of 12 locations, where a judge halted work due to public safety and environmental concerns.

By Susan Phillips

Transfer pipes carry liquified natural gas to and from a holding tank, seen in background, at Dominion Energy's Cove Point LNG Terminal in Lusby, Md., Thursday, June 12, 2014. Federal regulators concluded that Dominion Energy's proposal to export liquefied natural gas from its Cove Point terminal on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland would pose

Trump’s plan for LNG exports to Europe may not have much impact in Pennsylvania

Marcellus Shale production is expected to continue, an industry analyst said, and “we’re rapidly approaching a point where you may need to build capacity out of the Marcellus all the way to the Gulf Coast, and that’s an expensive proposition.”

By Susan Phillips

A sign warns drivers of natural gas pipeline construction ahead.

Federal appeals court dismisses pipeline case that charged FERC with bias

Ruling: Agency's pipeline approvals not linked to its funding
By Susan Phillips

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, under scrutiny for lavish spending and alleged ethics violations, resigned on Thursday, July 5.
Updated: July 5, 2018 | 7:57 pm

Scott Pruitt’s resignation welcomed by lawmakers from both parties

Environmentalists called Pruitt a ‘disgrace’ who favored industry while enriching himself as the EPA’s administrator. A union leader representing EPA workers in Philadelphia said he hopes the change brings ‘normalcy’ and helps restore America’s confidence in the agency.

By Jon Hurdle and Susan Phillips

A well pad on a Tioga County farm. Although gas drilling is allowed in most of the state, there is a moratorium against drilling in the eastern part where the Delaware River Basin Commission has jurisdiction.

Federal court rules fracking advocates will get their day in court

Wayne County group: Delaware River Basin Commission lacks authority to block drilling
By Susan Phillips

Sticky bands around trees can stop the young lantern flies from feeding.

Spotted lanternfly battle is on: Can Pennsylvania stop this invasive threat to trees and plants?

It’s a menace to grapes and orchards, among other things, and millions of dollars are being spent to kill it. One person on the front line of the fight says, “I’ve never seen an insect situation like this before.”

By Susan Phillips

File photo. Aniyah Davis kisses her cousin William Respes as they play in water from a garden hose during a July 2011 heat wave in Philadelphia. The city has a pilot project to help neighborhoods with vulnerable populations adapt to rising temperatures.

30 years of data show how much the U.S. has warmed. Now the race is on to adapt

It’s warmer everywhere, and the rising temperatures are prompting government agencies to try to figure out what to do. For the first time, the state’s climate action plan will give advice to policy makers, people, businesses and communities.

By Susan Phillips

A Bradford County drilling rig.

Study: Bradford County water quality improving despite shale gas drilling

Penn State research showed that decreased water quality near natural gas drilling sites is rare. Of the 1,385 gas wells examined, water contamination was found close to just seven drilling operations. Groundwater close to the other sites either improved or remained the same.

By Susan Phillips

Mariner East 2 pipeline construction crews work in the backyards of homes on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, on May 2, after sinkholes opened in the area. That caused one of the ME2 project's many delays.
Updated: June 14, 2018 | 4:40 pm

PUC keeps lid on Mariner East 2 work, but allows ME1 to re-start

The commission modified an order by an administrative law judge that had stopped work on ME2 and shut down ME1. It wants more information before deciding whether construction on ME2 can resume.

By Susan Phillips
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