Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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State sues townships that tried to ban injection wells

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is suing two rural townships that attempted to block underground disposal wells for oil and gas wastewater. On Monday DEP approved two new injection well permits in Highland Township, Elk County, and Grant Township, Indiana County. In its public announcement, the agency didn’t mention it was filing a lawsuit [...]

In Pennsylvania, Trump’s climate order met with anger and relief

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration says it is still committed to combating climate change in Pennsylvania, despite an executive order signed Tuesday by President Donald Trump aimed at undoing the Clean Power Plan– the signature climate initiative of the Obama administration. Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell called Trump’s action “disappointing,” saying the state [...]

Wagner keynotes for natural gas advocates in Harrisburg

Over a dozen county commissioners from Pennsylvania’s northern tier are working to organize around an issue that directly impacts their constituents: natural gas drilling. Organizers said Harrisburg often neglects the interests of its more far-flung counties. They described their keynote speaker as someone who’s gone against that trend– York County Republican senator and gubernatorial hopeful, [...]

Amid criticism, utility regulator walks back ‘jihad’ remark

One of Pennsylvania’s top utility regulators is walking back controversial remarks he made about pipeline opponents at a gas industry conference this week. Speaking at the Upstream PA conference Tuesday, state Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson said people opposing pipeline projects are engaged in a “jihad” to keep natural gas from reaching new markets. He now [...]

New online tool will track oil and gas operations

Pennsylvania has launched a new online tool to make it easier for the public to review documents submitted by the unconventional oil and gas industry. The change is part of a broader push from the Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its technological capabilities. Last month, the agency’s oil and gas inspectors received iPads, after years [...]

Utility regulator slams pipeline opponents

One of Pennsylvania’s top utility regulators says people opposing pipeline projects are engaged in a “jihad” to keep natural gas from reaching new markets. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson was speaking to gas industry representatives Tuesday at the Upstream PA conference in State College. “The jihad has begun,” he told the audience. “At the [...]

Philadelphia schools announce plan to cut energy bills in half

Emma Lee/WHYY Emily Schapira, executive director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, talks to reporters in front of an old boiler in the basement of Lankenau High School, an example of the kinds of improvements that could be made under the Energy Pilot Project. Philadelphia school officials have come up with a plan to use energy [...]

Federal judge rejects permits challenge in new setback to Constitution Pipeline

A federal judge dealt the latest blow to the planned Constitution Pipeline when he rejected the builder’s argument that it would be injured by having to obtain certain state permits to construct the natural gas pipeline from Northeast Pennsylvania to New York State. Judge Norman Mordue of the Northern District of New York said the [...]

Sunoco rejects township’s Mariner East complaint to PUC

Sunoco told the Public Utility Commission that its actions regarding a section of the Mariner East 1 pipeline does not subject residents of a Chester County township to “clear and present danger.” The township had filed a complaint with the PUC alleging the company violated an agreement over the installation of a valve for its [...]

Mariner East 2 critics say any leak could cause ‘catastrophe’ in Delco

Opponents of the planned Mariner East 2 pipeline warned on Monday of an “unprecedented catastrophe” if the pipeline leaks, subjecting residents of a Delaware County township to the risk of burns from a flammable vapor cloud that could ignite amid schools, homes and businesses. The Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, an anti-pipeline group, released an [...]

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