Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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A look at how energy extraction is reshaping Pennsylvania’s economy.

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Abundant supplies of Marcellus Shale gas could lead to more chemical plants

Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker in Beaver County could be the first of several large chemical plants in the region, petrochemical industry leaders and observers said at a conference in Pittsburgh Monday. That’s because there’s enough ethane being produced in the region to provide the chemical industry with the raw material without any additional drilling. [...]

Citizen lobbyists make progress with Republicans on climate

Citizen lobbyist Jay Butera believes in the power of polite persistence. Nearly every week for the past 10 years, he has taken the Amtrak train down to Washington D.C. from his home in Montgomery County to convince congress to take action on climate. “There were times when it felt like this is not going to [...]

Could the future bring subsidized air conditioning to Pa.?

Climate change will bring longer, hotter heat waves to Pennsylvania, according to experts. Some are worried how those living without air conditioning will survive. 2016 was the hottest year on record. It broke the heat record set in 2015, which broke the record set in 2014.  Climate scientists say it’s expected to get worse. With [...]

Trump touts new Pa. coal mine, but rebound in doubt

When President Trump announced the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, he said he was doing it to protect American workers. He gave a shout out to the coal industry, and a surprise mention to the Acosta Deep mine in Somerset County. “A big opening of a brand, new mine. It’s unheard [...]

Philadelphia aims to cash in on solar job boom

On a rooftop in Bryn Mawr, Delaware County, four men are working to install 18 solar panels on top of a four-bedroom house. They wear safety harnesses and helmets, lowering down one solar panel at a time onto metal frames. One is 21-year-old Thomas Glenn. Several years ago, Glenn dropped out of high school and [...]

Northeast needs more gas pipelines, says new report

A new report out this week from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argues the northeastern United States needs more natural gas pipelines. If no new pipelines were built, it could cost the region over 78,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in GDP by the year 2020, the report finds. It is the fifth in a series of [...]

Allentown teen sues Trump administration for inaction on climate

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Kivlehan says she doesn’t remember when she first heard about climate change. It was a normal topic of conversation at the dinner table, one that often included her grandfather, Jim Hansen, an astro-physicist at Columbia University and perhaps one of the worlds’ most well-known climate scientists. Hansen began sounding the alarm about rising temperatures [...]

EPA union fights back on Trump’s planned budget cuts

New reports out of the White House shine more light on the proposed 31 percent cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. President Trump’s current plan would eliminate 25 percent of  EPA jobs. And it would slash water protection programs, including clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay. For the Chesapeake program alone, the new documents show about 40 [...]

PJM says more natural gas power generation would not hurt reliability

The reliability of electric power supply in the U.S. northeast and mid-Atlantic states would not be hurt if generators burned more natural gas and renewables or if the recent decline in coal and nuclear generation continues, the operator of the nation’s biggest electric grid said on Thursday. PJM Interconnection, which operates the grid serving some [...]

Pennsylvania could support four more ethane crackers, report says

Pennsylvania has the capacity to attract up to four more ethane cracker plants because of its abundant reserves of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and its proximity to major markets for plastics feedstock, a report released by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said on Tuesday. The report from the consultant IHS Markit projects that more petrochemical companies [...]

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