Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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Energy extraction’s impact on air quality, water supply, and community infrastructure.

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Industry launches new TV ad opposing shale tax

The battle over Governor Wolf’s shale gas tax proposal took an acrimonious turn last week with dueling letters between the industry and the governor. Now the television ads have arrived. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which leads a coalition of groups opposing the shale gas tax, has begun running an ad against Governor [...]

Study: Lower than expected air pollutants detected at Marcellus drilling sites

An article in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, published today, says measurements of air pollution from Marcellus drilling and transportation sites in Bradford and Sullivan counties were lower than the researchers expected. The study, “Atmosphere Emission Characterization of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development Sites,” also reports levels of methane emissions were higher than those indicated [...]

Case challenges township’s right to change zoning in favor of gas development

Local rights to zone for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania are being tested by a Butler County case in which plaintiffs claim a township has acted unconstitutionally by failing to protect residents from the effects of a sharp increase in industrial activity. Middlesex Township, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, approved an ordinance in August [...]

Fracktivist faces 6 felony charges for recording lawyer

Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins has been charged with six felonies for violating Pennsylvania’s wiretapping laws by recording a Montrose lawyer and his secretary without their permission. The charges stem from a 2013 incident in which Scroggins was denied an application to have her anti-fracking group participate in the town’s Fourth of July parade. According to [...]

What’s in those tank cars near the Amtrak derailment?

News footage of the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia Tuesday night shows nearby tank cars that look similar to the rail cars carrying crude oil or other hazardous material across the country each day. In aerial photos, it looks as if the Amtrak train, traveling at 100 miles an hour, nearly missed creating an even greater [...]

Energy industry invests in Philly mayor’s race

Since Marcellus Shale development boomed, Philadelphia has been a thorn in the side of the gas industry. The city has not seen many of the economic benefits that places like Williamsport, or Pittsburgh have. And it tends to be home to well-organized, experienced environmental groups used to taking on powerful adversaries. When the industry invited [...]

As gas boom cuts into forests, scientists study how to put it back together

  In the seven years since Marcellus Shale gas companies began working in Pennsylvania’s state forests, none of the nearly 1,700 affected acres has been fully restored and put back the way it was before drilling began. Now state foresters and Penn State scientists are trying to plan for the future and help gas companies [...]

Fracking activist permanently barred from Cabot gas sites

Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins will be permanently barred from sites operated by Cabot Oil and Gas, according to a recent court order. Scroggins is already facing a $1,000 fine and possible jail time for getting too close to a Cabot site in January. Since 2013, she has been subject to a temporary injunction, requiring her to [...]

Fish with cancerous tumor worries state official

A smallmouth bass caught in the Susquehanna River last fall was found to have a rare, cancerous tumor, and it has the head of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission worried. John Arway tells WITF this should be a wake-up call to researchers studying the health of the river. He has publicly clashed with the [...]

New study links gas drilling to water contamination in NE Pa.

New research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows evidence of a connection between gas drilling and water contamination that occurred in Bradford County in 2010. The researchers used a new method of testing for contaminants that can detect much smaller amounts of chemicals than the instruments typically used in commercial [...]

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