Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

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

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Royalties bill makes very brief appearance at State Capitol

A bill aimed at ensuring oil and gas royalty owners are paid fairly made a fleeting appearance at the Pennsylvania Capitol this week. “I succeeded in bringing attention to the issue and to the bill,” says Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), who on Tuesday attached, and then quickly withdrew, his royalties bill as an amendment to another measure that ultimately [...]

Rift grows between Wolf and environmentalists

As Pennsylvania’s July 1 budget deadline looms, Governor Tom Wolf is finding common ground with the Republican-led legislature on bills affecting climate change policy and regulations for the oil and gas industry. But it’s leading to a growing rift between his administration and environmentalists. “He’s caving on the environment” “The environment has historically been the low [...]

EPA bans disposal of fracking waste water at public treatment plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has banned the disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste water at public sewage plants, formalizing a voluntary practice that removed most fracking waste from Pennsylvania plants starting in 2011. The EPA on Monday finalized a rule that prevents operators from disposing of waste from unconventional oil & gas operations at publicly [...]

House panel approves measure to exempt conventional drillers from new regs

A Pennsylvania House committee on Wednesday approved an amendment that would exempt conventional oil and gas activities from proposed regulations. The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee easily passed the amendment to SB 279, which creates a council to advise the Department of Environmental Protection on regulation to distinguish between conventional and unconventional oil and gas [...]

Don’t frack the rich? Comment puts focus on environmental justice

At a recent legal forum in Harrisburg, a prominent natural gas industry executive suggested his company tries to avoid drilling near rich people. “I was infuriated when I heard it,” says Patrick Grenter, of the environmental advocacy group, the Center for Coalfield Justice. ”I was sitting with some colleagues and I said to them, ‘Did he [...]

Fellow Democrat blasts Wolf on environmental issues

One of the state legislature’s most vocal environmentalists is criticizing Governor Tom Wolf for failing to support tougher regulations for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. The attack is coming a member of his own party—the minority chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Rep. Greg Vitali (D- Delaware). “You can’t expect continued support [...]

PennFuture urges township to scrap gas-drilling ordinance

An environmental group is challenging a zoning ordinance that allows gas drilling throughout a southwest Pennsylvania township, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional, and violates a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the state’s controversial Act 13 oil and gas law. PennFuture says the ordinance by Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County [...]

Pennsylvania still working on Clean Power Plan, but won’t meet deadline

While President Obama’s initiative to get states to cut carbon emissions — known as the Clean Power Plan — is being challenged in federal court by 24 states, Pennsylvania is still moving forward with its plans. Speaking to members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning, state Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley said his [...]

EPA finalizes new methane standards for oil and gas industry

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever federal standards Thursday aimed at curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. It’s part of the Obama administration’s broader plan to combat climate change. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and it’s much more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. The EPA says [...]

PA expands particulate monitoring as federal study finds high level in one location

Pennsylvania is stepping up its monitoring of air contamination by fine particulates at sites near natural gas compressor stations. The move comes on the heels of a federal government study of one site in Susquehanna County, which found levels of the particulate matter known as PM2.5 that researchers say could be harmful for people who [...]

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