Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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False positive results of radioactivity suspected in Greene County stream

New test results from a Greene County stream show much lower levels of radioactivity than state samples revealed last year, leading one researcher to suspect the state came up with a false positive. More tests are expected in the coming months to determine if high levels of radium are seeping out of an abandoned mine [...]

Plans scrapped for drilling waste in PA’s Grand Canyon

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY A drill worker covered in mud, shale, and drill cuttings seals off a well and cleans the blowout preventer at a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill site in Kingsley, Pa. A waste disposal company has backed off its controversial plan to use 400,000 tons of natural gas drill cuttings to help [...]

PA climate change report warns of hotter summers, destructive storms, floods

Prepare for longer, hotter summers, more rain, more destructive storms, and bankrupt ski resorts. That’s the conclusion of a team from Penn State on what Pennsylvanians can expect from climate change. By 2050, Philadelphia temperatures will be more like Richmond, and Pittsburgh will be like Washington, D.C. In fact, Pennsylvania has already warmed by 1° [...]

Oil trains and Pope Francis — not perfect together?

Yes, it has occurred to city officials that some of the oil trains that rumble through Philadelphia pass right below Eakins Oval and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, site of two huge events during the papal visit weekend, Mayor Michael Nutter said Thursday. At a news conference to update the public on the city’s preparations for [...]

Talking methane rules, oil trains on WITF’S Smart Talk

President Obama’s latest effort to stem climate change includes new rules to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The administration cut methane leaks from this sector by 40 to 45 percent by the year 2025. Methane is the second most common greenhouse gas emitted in the U.S., accounting for 10 percent of [...]

Sunoco launches eminent domain proceedings for Mariner East 2 pipeline

As Sunoco Logistics steps up efforts to create a pathway for its Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline across southern Pennsylvania, some landowners are resisting the company’s moves to build the pipeline across their properties. Residents in at least eight counties are rejecting the company’s offers of cash compensation as too low or unacceptable [...]

Talking pipelines on WITF’s Smart Talk

An estimated 30,000 new miles of pipeline will be built in Pennsylvania to accommodate the shale gas boom, according to the Wolf Administration. Some of these lines will be large, high pressure pipes that travel across state lines and are regulated by the federal government. But some are much smaller, carrying gas from the wellhead [...]

Carbon tax idea reappears in EPA plan but is unlikely to fly in Pennsylvania

The federal government’s widely publicized Clean Power Plan contains a little-noticed option for states to tax carbon emissions from power plants as one way of complying with the federal government’s target. Buried on page 899 of the 1,560-page document are two sentences that may revive a long-discussed but never-implemented way of providing a financial incentive [...]

Unmapped, unregulated maze of rural pipelines poses hidden risks

The Wolf Administration says Pennsylvania will be getting tens of thousands of miles of new pipelines over the next couple of decades. Recently we reported on how poorly mapped some of these pipelines are.  Many of those unmapped pipelines are also unregulated. These are rural gathering lines, or pipelines that take the gas from the [...]

Pipelines’ paths remain a risky mystery beneath our feet

This story began with a simple task: Let’s make a pipeline map! Everyone wants to know where all the new Marcellus Shale gas pipelines are or will be. The new proposals have been piling up.  Many have poetic names like Atlantic Sunrise, Mariner East, and Bluestone. There got to to be so many they started [...]

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