Pennsylvania

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Federal regulators won’t reconsider approval of Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

Federal regulators won’t revisit their decision to approve a major natural gas transmission pipeline through Pennsylvania. In a December 6 order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a rehearing request by landowners, anti-pipeline activists, environmental groups, Native American tribes and the public service commissions of North Carolina and New York. They were challenging FERC’s [...]

Conflicting decisions on pipelines frustrate industry, landowners

In March 2016, workers for one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies cut down a large swath of maple trees in Susquehanna County–a rural patch of northeastern Pennsylvania. A video shot by an activist shows the trees crashing down as chainsaws buzz. Cathy Holleran was powerless to stop it. At the time, she was tapping [...]

Federal court ruling could delay major natural gas pipeline projects

A recent federal court ruling could delay major pipeline projects planned to move Marcellus Shale natural gas to new markets. On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of a climate-related challenge brought by the Sierra Club against federal regulators. The case centers on the Southeast Market [...]

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds federal pipeline regulators were unable to document or explain their processes for assessing pipeline risk, and prioritizing safety inspections.

Companies have asked a federal regulator to approve thousands of miles of pipeline from Appalachia. They almost always get their way. They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people’s yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they’d spread from Appalachia to [...]

NJ officials say they need more information on PennEast pipeline project

New Jersey officials underlined their concerns about the controversial PennEast natural gas pipeline project in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission highlighting several areas where the pipeline’s builders have yet to submit information needed to obtain permits. Bob Martin, Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, told FERC on Thursday that the [...]

Trump nominates PA PUC Commissioner Rob Powelson to FERC

President Donald Trump has nominated Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Rob Powelson to fill a vacancy on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees interstate pipeline projects. Powelson, who also serves as the president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, recently compared anti-pipeline activists to jihadists, a statement he later walked back. “The jihad [...]

FERC says PennEast pipeline would have ‘less than significant’ environmental impact

The proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey would have “less than significant” environmental effects if it meets plans laid out by its builder and regulators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Friday. In its final Environmental Impact Statement on the 120-mile project, FERC said its determination was based on information [...]

Reports: Trump considers PUC Commissioner Powelson for federal post

Multiple news outlets are reporting President Donald Trump is considering tapping Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert F. Powelson for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The five member independent commission oversees the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Since February it’s had three vacancies and is unable to advance projects without a quorum. Bloomberg also [...]

After Standing Rock, pipeline fights continue around U.S.

As authorities clear out the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp, battles have flared up in other states, including Pennsylvania, which has become a major hub of natural gas development. Anti-pipeline activists recently launched an encampment in Lancaster County, and they’ve been coordinating with groups around the country. The Lancaster activists want to disrupt construction of the [...]

Resignation of top regulator threatens to delay major pipeline projects

The abrupt resignation of a senior federal regulator threatens to put billions of dollars of new pipeline projects on hold across the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay said Thursday he would resign effective February 3. His announcement came shortly after President Donald Trump decided Bay’s fellow commissioner, Cheryl LaFleur, would serve as [...]

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