Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

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Federal commission kills Trump’s plan to save coal plants

An independent federal commission terminated a Trump administration proposal that would have propped up struggling coal and nuclear plants. On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — an independent body with both Republican and Democratic members – unanimously rejected the Department of Energy’s “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.”

With coal consumption down, production ticks up from some Appalachian mines

While the United States burned less coal in 2017 than it had in three decades, an uptick in global demand for Appalachia’s metallurgical coal — used in the steelmaking process — helped boost production this past year, according to a new analysis by an economic research firm. Coal production rose 6 percent across the United [...]

Trump proposes oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast

President Trump wants to open up almost all federal waters to offshore drilling, including waters along the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware. The draft proposal could lead to the largest lease sale ever. But the plan would face substantial opposition along the New Jersey and Delaware shorelines. The proposal reverses course from previous administrations and [...]

Who will pay for Trump’s plan to save coal?

The Trump administration has asked a federal agency to step in and help save the coal and nuclear industries. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has proposed a rule that will force the electric grids in some parts of the country to basically guarantee profits for coal and nuclear plants. But who will pay for that guarantee? Anyone who gets an [...]

Pennsylvania’s gas fields ramp up for more drilling in 2018

Activity in Pennsylvania’s gas fields slowed in recent years amid low prices, but operators ramped up drilling in 2017, and they’re expecting to drill even more in the new year. The site of some of the state’s newest gas wells lies atop a Washington County hill in Frank Brownlee’s backyard. Brownlee, 68, lives a quarter-mile [...]

Energy in 2017: Regulatory rollback and environmentalist angst

The priorities set by a new presidential administration dominated energy news in 2017. President Donald Trump and his cabinet set an agenda to “unleash” America’s energy potential, removing the barriers they perceive to be holding back domestic energy production — often to the dismay of the environmental community. Here’s a compilation of the year’s biggest [...]

Dominion’s Cove Point plant preparing to export LNG

A once idled natural gas import terminal along the Chesapeake Bay — which had become a haven for gulls feeding on scraps from a nearby dump — completed its $4 billion transformation to a liquefaction plant and export facility this month by taking its first shipment of natural gas. Marcellus Shale gas flowing through pipelines [...]

Congressman Meehan seeks pipeline risk assessment for Mariner East 2

Responding to landowners’ concerns regarding pipeline construction in Delaware and Chester counties, suburban Philadelphia Congressman Pat Meehan (R-7) has asked Gov. Tom Wolf to conduct a risk assessment of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. In a letter to Wolf on Dec. 12, Meehan wrote “a risk assessment would be a welcome and responsible step in [...]

Trump administration coal plan could have big impact on Pennsylvania

The Trump administration’s plan to prop up money-losing coal and nuclear plants could have a big impact on how Pennsylvanians get their electricity. Federal regulators will now decide what to do with it. The Department of Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on its proposed “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.” The plan [...]

New York’s heralded fracking ban isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a bold statement by banning hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State, declaring alongside his health commissioner that “no child should live near” a shale-gas well because of its potential harm. The governor’s proclamation made him a hero among environmentalists and persona non grata in the oil and gas industry. [...]

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