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Amid budget battle, royalty issue comes to the surface

Tucked into Gov. Wolf’s unsuccessful budget proposal last week was what looked to some like a sweetener for Republicans from oil and gas counties. It was a ban on the practice of deducting postproduction costs from royalties, an issue which has outraged many landowners in heavily-drilled areas. Landowners have complained for years that oil and [...]

British MP studies fracking on trip to PA

On a sunny fall morning, Kevin Hollinrake stands with a group of concerned parents across a road from a gas processing plant in Butler County. Trucks come and go as workers hustle to expand the Bluestone processing plant, which will separate different types of natural gas from locally drilled wells for market. Hollinrake has come [...]

Wolf signs bill pushing mine water to fracking

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Thursday a bill that could clear the way for more oil and gas companies to use treated mine water for fracking. The idea has been encouraged by the state Department of Environmental Protection, but there have been relatively few companies using the water to frack. Drillers have been reluctant to [...]

Wolf tweaks gas tax plan; GOP, industry unimpressed

Seeking an end to the state’s three month-old budget stalemate, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf sent the GOP-controlled legislature a revised tax plan that lowers his ‘ask’ on a severance tax for the natural gas industry. But his political rivals say it’ll cost the industry just as much as his old plan, if not more. The [...]

World shale resources grow with reserves in new countries

The list of countries where fracking could unlock oil and gas reserves grew this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its newest “World Shale Resource Assessment” this year, adding Chad, Kazakhstan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates to more than 40 countries with shale reserves. This year’s survey found the world had 7,576 trillion [...]

DEP hears differing views on EPA climate plan

State regulators heard comments on how quickly it should address the EPA’s plan to curb carbon emissions Monday night in Pittsburgh. Around 100 people came to a DEP listening session where more than three dozen speakers discussed the economic benefits of energy efficiency, the health effects of air pollution, and whether cutting carbon will hurt [...]

Editor’s note

A story published Friday about a press conference ahead of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia has been removed after further editorial discussions.

Federal air rules force coal plants to clean up or shut down

John and Maureen Vilcek have lived exactly one mile from the coal-fired Homer City Generating Station in Indiana County, Pa. since the 1970s. They raised their children here, and hardly notice the constant rumble emanating from the plant up the road. “I’d much rather it be coal-fired than nuclear,” Maureen Vilcek said. “In the beginning, [...]

Marcellus shale conference moves from Philly to Pittsburgh

More than 2,000 people are expected to descend on Pittsburgh next week for the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s annual Shale Insight conference. This year will be the first time Pennsylvania’s major gas industry conference will be held in Pittsburgh. For the past three years it was in Philadelphia. “Pittsburgh is the eastern head of many operators in [...]

Citing train derailments, Casey beats the drum for federal appropriations bill

Citing three recent train derailments in Pennsylvania, Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is beating the drum for a federal appropriations bill he says would help make shipping hazardous materials like crude oil safer. The bill would fund the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, including the related agencies that oversee the nation’s highways and [...]

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