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Supreme Court race could hold the key to future environmental rulings

Matt Slocum / AP Candidates at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court debate, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pa. On Nov. 3, voters will fill three vacancies on the seven-member state Supreme Court. Three out of seven seats are up for grabs on Pennsylvania’s highest court, the largest number [...]

PennFuture names new President and CEO

One of Pennsylvania’s largest and most active environmental advocacy organizations has named a new president and CEO. PennFuture has announced the hiring of Larry Schweiger. He previously spent 10 years as head of the National Wildlife Federation. He replaces Cindy Dunn, who left earlier this year to join the Wolf administration as secretary of the [...]

Butler County gas leaseholders sue local opponents of zoning change

A dozen western Pennsylvania residents who have leased their land for gas drilling are suing local opponents of gas development in a case that free-speech advocates say could have far-reaching consequences for critics’ ability to debate the industry’s plans. A suit by the 12 leaseholders and a real estate developer in Middlesex and Adams Townships, [...]

In fracking hot spots, police and gas industry share intelligence on activists

Last month an anti-fracking group settled a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, after it was erroneously labeled a potential terrorist threat. The case dates back to 2010 and was an embarrassment for then-Governor Ed Rendell. But documents obtained by StateImpact Pennsylvania show law enforcement here and in other parts of the country continue to conduct surveillance on anti-fracking [...]

Corbett’s top energy adviser hired by gas industry

Less than a week after Governor Corbett left office, his top energy adviser has accepted a new job with Pennsylvania’s largest gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Patrick Henderson, who made $145,000 a year as Corbett’s Energy Executive, will now become the MSC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs. “These are truly exciting times within [...]

Wolf appoints reviewers for DEP, DCNR, DOH and PUC

Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Wolf has appointed a number of people to review departments and issues ahead of the January 20 inauguration. The reviewers will work with the current Corbett administration to “better understand the issues and challenges that face the executive branch,” according to a release. Wolf’s spokesperson Jeff Sheridan said the goal would be [...]

Report: Veteran lobbyist tells industry to ‘win ugly or lose pretty’

The New York Times reports a veteran lobbyist instructed the oil and gas industry to fight dirty against environmentalists who oppose expanding drilling operations. According to the Times, the advice came from Richard Berman, who heads a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm that has solicited up to $3 million from the oil and gas industry for [...]

Democrat Tom Wolf talks extraction tax and protecting the environment

Democrat Tom Wolf talks to reporters at the WHYY studio in Philadelphia.

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips sat down with both candidates for governor and pressed them on energy issues. The candidates visited WHYY in Philadelphia, where several reporters interviewed them for about ten minutes each. Wolf has proposed taxing the Marcellus Shale gas differently than Governor Corbett. Wolf wants to charge a 5 percent tax on the [...]

DEP Secretary Abruzzo implicated in sexually explicit email exchange

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo is one of eight prominent state employees who “sent or received hundreds of sexually explicit photos, videos and messages from state email accounts between 2008 and 2012.” A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office confirmed to WITF that Abruzzo sent eight of the [...]

Gas industry group launches election season ad blitz

With election day just over a month away, Pennsylvania’s biggest gas industry trade group is launching a statewide ad campaign to promote the benefits of the drilling boom and reclaim the word “fracking.”  At its annual Shale Insight conference Wednesday, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) announced it’s running a series of radio, television, and print [...]

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