Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

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Wolf: Ethane cracker will bring jobs for years

Note: This story is from The Allegheny Front, a public radio program covering environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf was in Beaver County Thursday to tout the economic benefits of Shell’s multi-billion dollar ethane cracker and discuss the challenges ahead in building it. Wolf spoke at what his office called a “roundtable” with local [...]

Report: Gas impact fee revenue will keep declining

Pennsylvania will continue to see less money from natural gas drilling, according to a new analysis from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office. This year the drilling impact fees brought in $187.7 million– the lowest amount ever. The IFO projects revenue will continue to decline next year, potentially setting a new record low. “The impact fee [...]

Environmentalists challenge grid operator’s new ‘reliability’ regulation

via NJ Spotlight A new rule designed to promote reliability of the power grid is being challenged by a quartet of interest groups saying it increases prices to consumers and hinders clean-energy alternatives.The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, and the Union of Concerned Scientists filed a lawsuit Friday challenging a federal agency’s approval [...]

Federal court rules FERC doesn’t have to review upstream impacts of LNG

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is not required to examine the upstream impacts of natural gas development when reviewing the environmental impacts of new liquefied natural gas export facilities under the National Environmental Policy Act. Instead, the court said that if any agency should examine [...]

Environmentalist Erin Brockovich speaks about water contamination linked to Willow Grove AFB

Environmental advocate Erin Brockovich, subject of the eponymous movie about her legal battle with a California utility accused of polluting water supplies, addressed a group of suburban Philadelphia residents now grappling with water contamination linked to the use of flame retardants at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Willow Grove and the Horsham [...]

Beaver County ‘upskills’ to prepare for Shell plant

In early June, after years of waiting and negotiating, Shell Chemical Appalachia signed on to build a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County. The plant will turn ethane, which the Marcellus Shale creates an excess of, into a compound that is used in the creation of plastics. With heavy tax incentives, Pennsylvania [...]

Gas drilling impact fees fall to $188 million

As expected Pennsylvania’s gas drilling impact fees fell to the lowest amount ever last year, according to figures released by the state Public Utility Commission Wednesday. The fees brought in $187.7 million in 2015– down from $223.5 million collected the year before. Over the pas five years, the fees have brought in more than a [...]

Shell says giant ethane cracker plant will go ahead near Pittsburgh

The oil giant Shell on Tuesday gave the final go-ahead for construction of a major petrochemical complex in western Pennsylvania where ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shales will be used to make ethylene for the manufacture of plastics. The long-awaited multi-billion-dollar plant will be built in Potter Township, Beaver County, about 30 miles northwest [...]

What happens after the boom?


Four years ago StateImpact Pennsylvania visited Towanda to see how the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom was changing the pace of life. We returned this year to see what happened after the rigs left town. Watch our latest video, After the Boom.

Deepening the Delaware: Windfall or boondoggle?

On a recent afternoon, local politicians and business leaders gathered at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia. Standing in front of a giant blue and white crane used to lift containers off cargo ships, U.S. Senator Bob Casey told reporters he’s confident Congress will approve the last chunk of federal funding needed to [...]

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