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The laws and regulations dictating how energy is extracted and transported.

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Report: drilling didn’t strain water supply in Susquehanna River Basin

The surge in gas drilling has not put a major strain on water supply in the Susquehanna River Basin, according to a new report from the regulatory body that oversees water withdrawals. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) is charged with regulating water quantity, not quality. However last year the commission issued a report saying it [...]

House and Senate panels reject oil and gas regulations

“Shameful,” “egregious,” “costly,” and “illegal” were some of the words used by lawmakers to describe new regulations for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. The House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees both voted to reject the regulations Tuesday, which are currently before the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). Conventional drillers have long complained [...]

Senate panel weighs permitting process and economic growth

One of the chief complaints from Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator, John Quigley, is that he doesn’t have enough staff and resources. At a state senate hearing Monday on economic development and permitting, he repeated it. “We have 671 fewer positions than we did 7 years ago,” Quigley told lawmakers. “Inadequate staff and technology hamper the agency’s [...]

Despite legal limbo, Pennsylvania continues work on Clean Power Plan

President Obama’s major climate change initiative, the Clean Power Plan, is currently in legal limbo as federal courts decide its fate.  But Governor Tom Wolf’s administration has decided to keep working on it anyway. The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to cut emissions from existing power plants by about a third over the [...]

DEP to abandon controversial permits for recycling drilling waste

State environmental regulators say they won’t renew a set of controversial research and development permits that allows gas drilling waste to be reused on construction sites. Proponents say it’s a way to recycle the waste and keep it out of landfills. Critics argue the permits have been used to avoid regulations. In 2014 Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale [...]

U.S. proposes new safety rules for natural gas pipelines

Following a series of explosions and accidents the federal government announced Thursday it would expand safety rules for natural gas pipelines. Regulators cited a 2010 explosion in San Bruno, California that left eight people dead and injured more than 50. “The significant growth in the nation’s production, usage and commercialization of natural gas is placing unprecedented [...]

Groups ask FERC for public participation office

More than 30 groups representing consumer advocates and environmental organizations have filed a petition asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to create an office of public participation. In 1978 Congress directed FERC to create the office, but it never happened. FERC regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. In Pennsylvania it has [...]

Cabot is fined (again) for drilling without approval

Cabot Oil and Gas is paying an $11,000 settlement to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for commencing gas drilling operations before it received permission to do so. Last year the company paid a $50,000 to the commission for a similar infraction. Every gas wellpad needs to have the SRBC’s approval before drilling operations can begin. Commission [...]

U.S., Canada to cut methane emissions from oil and gas sector

The U.S. and Canada have agreed to work together to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The Wall Street Journal reports the announcement comes ahead of a the first visit Thursday to the White House by newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two countries are pledging to cut methane emissions from the [...]

Delaware Riverkeeper sues FERC, alleging bias and corruption in pipeline cases

A Pennsylvania-based environmental group has stepped up its campaign against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a lawsuit accusing the agency of corruption and routine bias toward the natural gas industry’s applications to build pipelines. Delaware Riverkeeper Network says the agency, which regulates interstate pipelines, is unable to make objective decisions about whether a pipeline [...]

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