Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

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Power grid bracing for ‘bomb cyclone,’ bitter cold

A one-two punch of bitter cold temperatures and Winter Storm Grayson, a so-called ‘bomb cyclone’ moving up the Atlantic Coast, will stress the electrical grid in Pennsylvania and much of the Northeast this week. But the region’s grid operator says it’s better prepared to deal with the winter misery because of recent experiences with extreme [...]

DEP suspends all construction on Mariner East 2 pipeline

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday suspended all construction on Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline, saying it has violated the conditions of two kinds of permits. “Sunoco must cease all construction activity on the pipeline project, except for maintenance of erosion controls and limited maintenance of horizontal directional drilling equipment,” the DEP said in [...]

US Steel agrees to allow fracking at Edgar Thomson works steel mill

Pennsylvania’s oldest working steel mill could soon have a new type of industrial activity on-site: fracking. US Steel has signed a lease with New Mexico-based Merrion Oil and Gas, to develop a Marcellus shale gas well on the grounds of the Edgar Thomson works, originally built in 1875 by Andrew Carnegie. The well site will [...]

Top 10 things you need to know about Mariner East 2

Updated, 1:25 p.m. Jan. 3: The DEP has suspended all construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, citing permit violations. Original story: It’s 18 months behind its original schedule, and beset by lawsuits, drilling mud spills, damaged aquifers, a court order and angry residents. But Mariner East 2, the cross-state natural gas liquids pipeline, is [...]

Pennsylvania Attorney General’s lawsuit over royalty payments advances

A lawsuit is moving forward by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office alleging natural gas companies didn’t pay royalties to landowners as they’d promised. Bradford County Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth Brown denied the preliminary objections raised by the defendants, Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko Petroleum. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, accuses the companies of violating the [...]

Coke plant agrees to $1.5 million penalty for air pollution in western Pa. community

The world’s largest steelmaker has agreed to pay nearly $2 million because of air pollution violations at a Westmoreland County coke plant. In a settlement filed Wednesday in federal court in Pittsburgh, ArcelorMittal agreed to pay $1.5 million to state and federal regulators, and donate $300,000 to a local charity to implement clean air programs. [...]

EPA union leader: Public records request was ‘retaliation for my political activities’

With looming budget cuts threatening jobs, employees at the Environmental Protection Agency have something else to worry about. A private agency investigated employees who criticized the EPA, according to a report in the New York Times. When EPA union official Gary Morton protested proposed budget cuts during his lunch hour last March outside EPA’s Region [...]

New book tackles key questions about fracking

While fracking has created an economic boon for Pennsylvania and helped increase natural gas usage as a cleaner-burning energy source, it has also led to myriad environmental concerns–from water contamination to earthquakes. Daniel Raimi, a senior research associate with Resources for the Future, tells a nuanced story of the nation’s fracking boom in his new [...]

Study: Low birth weights linked to fracking sites

Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.  The study is the largest of its kind, and was conducted by researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University [...]

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