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Lawmakers funnel $150K to industry group for Marcellus research (again)

For the third time in as many years, $150,000 has been slipped into the state budget for “independent research” on Marcellus Shale issues. It’s intended for an industry-backed nonprofit called the Shale Alliance for Energy Research (SAFER PA). As StateImpact Pennsylvania previously reported, SAFER PA received a $150,000 earmark two years ago to do Marcellus [...]

Wolf’s energy advisor moves to the Public Utility Commission

Governor Wolf’s energy advisor has a new job. David Sweet, appointed by Wolf to help foster energy related manufacturing in the state will be the newest member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. It’s unclear whether Wolf plans to replace Sweet with a new energy advisor. Sweet did not have a high public profile in [...]

Gas exec apologizes for suggesting Range Resources avoids rich neighborhoods

A senior executive at natural gas driller Range Resources has apologized for suggesting the company tries to avoid putting its wells near big houses, where residents may have the financial means to challenge them. The comment was made by Terry Bossert, Range’s Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, at a legal forum in Harrisburg earlier [...]

Opponents question climate benefits, morality of natural gas

An interfaith group of religious organizations held a rally at the state Capitol Monday, calling on Governor Tom Wolf to halt natural gas development. About 50 people attended the event and asked the governor for what they called a “moral-torium” on unconventional gas development and related infrastructure, such as pipelines. “We are calling on our legislators [...]

Federal trial begins in the case of Dimock’s water contamination

Jury selection begins today in U.S. District Court in Scranton for a fracking contamination case that put the village of Dimock in the crosshairs of the debate over shale gas drilling. Only four plaintiffs remain of the original 44 who filed suit back in 2009. The others have settled with the company, Cabot Oil and [...]

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 [...]

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