Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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Sunoco’s pipeline construction releases drilling mud into Delco Creek

Pipeline construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 has caused three separate releases of drilling mud in May, with two incidents resulting in a combined total of 575 gallons of bentonite clay entering Chester Creek in Brookhaven, Delaware County, according to Sunoco Pipeline spokesman Jeff Shields. Bentonite is a non-toxic substance commonly used as a lubricant [...]

Trump nominates PA PUC Commissioner Rob Powelson to FERC

President Donald Trump has nominated Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Rob Powelson to fill a vacancy on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees interstate pipeline projects. Powelson, who also serves as the president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, recently compared anti-pipeline activists to jihadists, a statement he later walked back. “The jihad [...]

Critics wary of state support for nuclear power industry

The nation’s nuclear power industry is having a tough time. Like the coal companies, it’s struggling amid slowing demand for electricity, and competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. That’s why the industry has been turning to state legislatures, including Pennsylvania’s, for help.

EPA urges Pennsylvania to move faster on water safety issues

Federal regulators are urging Pennsylvania to act quickly to fix serious staffing shortfalls in the state’s safe drinking water program. In December EPA sent Pennsylvania a letter warning its water program was so under-staffed it was failing to enforce federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Pennsylvania responded by saying it planned to hike fees on public water [...]

Congress hears testimony on fast-tracking pipeline projects

Although anti-pipeline activists decry the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the agency that never met a pipeline project it wouldn’t approve, the natural gas industry says the regulatory process led by FERC is facing longer delays. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce heard testimony Wednesday about a proposal to speed-up that process, which currently [...]

Huntingdon County judge grants Sunoco authority to have protesting landowners arrested

Huntingdon County residents protesting the construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline across their land now face arrest on their own property due to a rarely imposed court order known as a “writ of possession.” Common Pleas Court judge George Zanic signed the order last week, which Sunoco had sought as an “emergency measure” in [...]

Philadelphia protesters accuse Trump administration of anti-science bias

Thousands of people marched through central Philadelphia on Saturday to protest what they see as an anti-science bias by the Trump administration, and to urge the federal government to use evidence rather than ideology to set policy, especially on climate change. Carrying hand-written signs such as “Without Science It’s Just Fiction” and “Science is Real, [...]

Bill targets legal challenge to coal mining in state park

A new proposal by state senate Republican leaders takes aim at an ongoing legal challenge to coal mining in a western Pennsylvania state park. The case, brought three years ago by the Center for Coalfield Justice and Pennsylvania Sierra Club, challenges the legality of Consol Energy’s 3,000-acre Bailey Mine extension. The groups say it would damage [...]

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