Energy. Environment. Economy.


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

Latest Posts

Pipeline blast victim upgraded from ‘critical’ to ‘fair’ condition

A 26-year-old man who was badly burned in a natural gas pipeline explosion last week has been upgraded from critical to fair condition at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, according to a hospital spokeswoman. James Baker was in his Westmoreland County home when a 30-inch interstate natural gas pipeline exploded around 8:30am Friday. His house [...]

Man injured after pipeline explodes near his home in western Pa.

A man has been taken to the hospital with serious burns after a 30-inch interstate natural gas transmission pipeline exploded next to his home in Westmoreland County. About a dozen homes have been evacuated and a quarter mile evacuation zone remains in place. Video from the scene shows a raging fire lighting up the early [...]

Spate of small earthquakes shuts down fracking activity in Lawrence County

A series of five small earthquakes within the space of 24 hours in Lawrence County, near the Ohio border, has led to the shutdown of nearby fracking operations. The earthquakes range in magnitude from 1.69 on the richter scale to 1.91, which are small and typically not felt on the surface. The quakes occurred just [...]

Pocono forest fire destroys more than 8,000 acres

Pennsylvania state forestry officials say a brush fire that’s consumed more than 8,000 acres of woodlands in the Poconos is finally under control.  It took about 130 firefighters to battle the blaze in Pike and Monroe counties, which has been burning for a week. Dubbed the “Sixteen Mile Fire,” it’s damaged about a dozen structures [...]

Pa. Attorney General candidates weigh in on fracking

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania Workers at a hydraulic fracturing site in Susquehanna County. Democratic candidate for attorney general Josh Shapiro is taking a hard line on gas drillers in a TV ad that began airing more than a week ago. “In the last eight years, the fracking industry has spent over $40 million dollars on lobbying [...]

Clinton and Sanders spar over fracking ahead of NY and PA primaries

As the two Democratic presidential hopefuls try to distinguish themselves for primary voters in New York and Pennsylvania, fracking is becoming a key issue. The fracking debate is a familiar one to both New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians, and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton clamored over each other during CNN’s Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the [...]

Fracking is becoming a big deal in the Democratic Senate race

It’s fueled a drilling boom in the U.S. Now, fracking is becoming fodder on the campaign trail. The three leading Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Pat Toomey have been sparring over the past few weeks over environmental issues—particularly fracking. Former Congressman and Navy Rear Admiral Joe Sestak and Braddock [...]

Mariner East 2 update: Chainsaws return, along with a tree-sitter

A pipeline opponent in Huntingdon County has taken to the trees for the second time in a week. Elise Gerhart says she heard the sound of chainsaws buzzing on her family’s land this morning and was surprised to find Sunoco work crews cutting down trees after a March 31 deadline aimed at protecting the endangered [...]

Public health campaigners renew call for fracking health registry

Updating with comment from Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project Pennsylvania public health campaigners have issued a new call for the establishment of a statewide registry of health complaints that could be related to oil and gas development. Such a registry would help doctors and nurses identify patterns of health complaints by people living near sites [...]

Property owner faces charges for protesting Mariner East pipeline

Three people, including the property owner, face charges related to protesting Sunoco’s tree-clearing activities in Huntingdon County last week. The three will appear in Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas next month.* Ellen Gerhart was arrested while workers were cutting trees on her property to prepare for construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Gerhart, [...]

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