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

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A surge, then a fade for Pennsylvania’s wind industry

Wind turbine

While the wind power industry booms across the United States thanks to favorable federal and state policies, the development of new wind farms has stalled in Pennsylvania. More than two dozen wind farms popped up across the state leading up to 2012, but only one in the years since. Wind advocates say Pennsylvania could follow [...]

Judge fines environmental attorneys $52,000 for ‘frivolous’ injection well suit

A federal judge has ordered a pair of attorneys for an environmental group to pay $52,000 in legal fees to an energy company because, the judge said, they filed a “frivolous” legal challenge to a fracking waste injection well in Indiana County. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled [...]

Settlement requires coal plants to get permits with tighter pollution controls

PPL's Brunner Island  coal-fired plant located on the west bank of Susquehanna River.

In a settlement with environmental groups, the Pennsylvania Department of Environment agreed to require coal-fired power plants to obtain water pollution permits with tighter controls on toxic releases into rivers and streams that provide drinking water to millions of people. The settlement, filed in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, pertains to 10 coal-fired power plants around the [...]

Despite DEP order to halt Mariner East 2 construction, some work is still allowed

Sunoco/ETP's Mariner East 2 construction site in West Whiteland Township, Chester County. Critics doubt that the DEP's decision to lift a stop-work order will ensure fewer environmental violations when construction resumes.

When Danielle Otten woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to see men working on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction site that sits about 40 feet from her backyard, along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, Chester County. For one thing, work in the area had stalled after drilling dried up and damaged nearby water [...]

Listen: Public radio show deals with coal’s uncertain future

The Homer City power plant in Indiana County, Pa. Photo: Reid R. Frazier

The public radio show Truth, Politics and Power took on the tenuous future of coal and coal miners in a recent episode, King Coal. Host Neil Conan spoke with StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Reid Frazier about support President Donald Trump has garnered from coal miners and mining communities in Pennsylvania.

Report: Mariner East pipelines could have a $9 billion financial impact

A Mariner East 2 construction site in Lebanon County. Sunoco says it expects to have the pipeline in service by the end of the second quarter, 2018.

The Mariner East pipelines and related plant could have a potential $9 billion financial impact in the state over six years, according to a report by the firm Econsult Solutions. Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the $2.5 billion pipeline, paid for the report. It analyzes the economic benefits of the Mariner East 1, 2, [...]

Federal commission kills Trump’s plan to save coal plants

-A Norfolk Southern freight train hauling coal makes it way through downtown Pittsburgh Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. The Department of Energy has proposed subsidizing coal and nuclear power in the face of competition from natural gas and renewables.

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

The Acosta metallurgical coal mine opened in Somerset County in 2017.

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

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2016 file photo, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez addresses a large rally in Asbury Park, N.J., opposing federal plans that would allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. The Obama administration has moved to restrict access to offshore oil drilling leases in the Atlantic, as well as off Alaska. But President-elect Trump has said that he intends to open up offshore drilling, and environmentalists and coastal businesses say it could be the first major fault line that divides them from the new president.

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 proposal would subsidize coal plants that would otherwise be driven out of business by natural gas. (Photo: Getty Images)

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 [...]

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