Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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DEP’s McDonnell meets with Mariner East pipeline opponents

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection held a hastily arranged meeting on Monday with several opponents of the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline in an apparent attempt to calm public concerns over the project which may soon get its final environmental approvals. Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell plus two other DEP officials and a legislative liaison [...]

Wolf renews call for natural gas tax

Governor Tom Wolf is renewing his call for a severance tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. It was among his central campaign pledges three years ago, but so far he’s been unsuccessful getting it through the Republican-led legislature. In his annual budget address Tuesday, Wolf didn’t mention the tax at all– instead focusing on efforts [...]

Data trove offers new details on complaints to DEP during shale boom

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection received 9,442 public complaints about environmental problems in areas where unconventional natural gas development occurred from 2004 to the end of November 2016, an investigation reported, unveiling a trove of documents from the state’s natural gas boom. The three-year investigation conducted by the Pittsburgh-based Public Herald watch-dog website, said 4,108 of [...]

Senator Casey calls for more marches and activism

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is encouraging more people to get out in the streets and march against the policies of newly elected President Donald Trump. Casey spoke to a packed house Thursday night about climate change at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Topping off a day of protests in Philadelphia that accompanied a visit [...]

Resignation of top regulator threatens to delay major pipeline projects

The abrupt resignation of a senior federal regulator threatens to put billions of dollars of new pipeline projects on hold across the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay said Thursday he would resign effective February 3. His announcement came shortly after President Donald Trump decided Bay’s fellow commissioner, Cheryl LaFleur, would serve as [...]

Middletown’s pipeline critics welcome risk study

Opponents of a plan to build the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline through Delaware County’s Middletown Township welcomed a decision by the local council to approve an independent study of whether the pipeline poses a safety risk to the community. The council agreed on Jan. 23 to spend $44,500 on a Quantitative Risk [...]

Appalachian region could support 4 more cracker plants, says report

The Appalachian region could support up to four more petrochemical processing plants, known as crackers, according to a forthcoming report from IHS Markit. Denise Brinley, a special assistant to the Secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, previewed the report Thursday during a presentation at the Hart Energy Marcellus Utica Midstream conference [...]

Trump gives pipeline industry a boost, but leaders warn against complacency

Donald Trump’s public support of big pipeline projects is giving the industry a shot in the arm. But it still faces hurdles from state and local opposition, according to industry leaders. On Tuesday, Trump signed executive orders to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and expedite environmental reviews on some projects. Keystone XL [...]

Delaware Estuary scientists fear Trump actions will accelerate sea-level rise

Scientists working to defend the mid-Atlantic coast from pollution, development, and sea-level rise fear they now have a new challenge: President Donald Trump. The new administration’s early actions to scrap President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, promote fossil fuels, and muzzle social media use by the Environmental Protection Agency all unnerved scientists meeting in Cape May [...]

Delaware basin program measures its progress in protecting water supplies

The Delaware River Watershed Initiative, a wide-ranging collaboration between environmental groups seeking to protect water quality in the 13,500 square-mile area, is beginning to monitor and measure its progress since being launched in 2014. The initiative, led by the William Penn Foundation, aims to shield the basin’s water supplies from forest loss, runoff from farms [...]

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