Natural Gas

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The state Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward with plans to regulate harmful air pollution from Pennsylvania’s thousands of oil and gas sites.

More Than Half Of PA Gas Wells Used ‘Secret’ Chemicals For Fracking, Drilling: Report

Sep 14, 2018
Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Energy companies in Pennsylvania declined to identify potentially harmful chemicals used for drilling and fracking for natural gas in more than half the wells developed between 2013 and 2017, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The report from the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a Massachusetts nonprofit that does research and advocacy on energy policy, says companies withheld information about at least one chemical in 55 percent of wells drilled between 2013 and 2017.

FirstEnergy

Energy Transfer Partners has shut down part of the Revolution Pipeline as officials investigate why a section of it exploded in a Beaver County residential neighborhood on Monday.

Bringing The Forest Back After Shale Gas

Sep 11, 2018
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

In a clearing deep in Tiadaghton State Forest, Kelly Sitch stops to look at a clump of wild bergamot, a native plant whose light purple flowers resemble pom-poms.

Trump Power: Industry Analysts Say New Rule Will Not Fuel Coal Comeback

Aug 28, 2018
Kara Lofton / WVPB

When President Trump wants to talk coal, he comes to West Virginia. So it was not surprising that the president visited Charleston just hours after his administration unveiled a long-awaited overhaul of the Obama administration's signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan.

“We’re cancelling Obama’s illegal, anti-coal-destroying regulations. The so-called Clean Power Plan,” Trump told the cheering crowd.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

At the edge of a field in Washington County, a group of archaeology students picked away at a shallow pit on a recent afternoon, searching for fragments of history hundreds of years old.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennslvania

Pennsylvania's state forests agency says it isn't finding damage to waterways amid the expansion of natural gas drilling in recent years, although it is reporting a growth of invasive plants where land is being cleared.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Wednesday in a new report that its water chemistry analysis hasn't provided evidence that shale gas development has degraded the quality of waterways in state forests in the core gas forest districts.

However, it says the presence and quantities of invasive plants are on the rise.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State environmental officials have fined CNX Gas Company $250,000 for violations that took place this spring during the construction of a gathering pipeline in Indiana County.

Inspectors for the Department of Environmental Protection reported in March that water laden with sediment was not properly contained during construction and leaked into a tributary of Mudlick Run in North Mahoning Township. They also said the company installed an unauthorized pipe to direct the polluted water into the tributary.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

President Donald Trump rescinded his invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles this week after reports suggested only about 10 players of the 90-member, Super Bowl-winning squad were planning to attend. The President tied the decision to past criticism of players who protested police brutality and harsh treatment of African Americans by kneeling during the "National Anthem."

Pennsylvania, For First Time, Sets Methane Requirements On Natural Gas Wells

Jun 8, 2018
Joe Ulrich / WITF

Pennsylvania has joined a growing number of states in issuing new methane requirements for natural gas wells.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennslvania

Pennsylvania will begin enforcing tougher air pollution standards on its booming natural gas industry.

House OKs Bill To Relax Rules For Shallow Gas, Oil Drilling

Jun 6, 2018
Joe Ulrich / WITF

A Republican bill to relax regulations on the shallow oil and gas drilling that has gone on in Pennsylvania for more than a century passed the state House Tuesday despite firm opposition from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The GOP-majority chamber voted 111-84 for a proposal that covers permits, rules for wells, spills and enforcement for drilling that does not include the much deeper wells tapping into the Marcellus Shale formation.

Wolf's Fracking-Health Record Hammered By New Industry Opposition Group

May 25, 2018
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

A coalition of anti-fracking groups says Gov. Tom Wolf should pay more attention to the health impacts of fracking, and that he’s “turned his back” on people who say they’ve suffered from the state’s natural gas industry.

Judge Shuts Down Work On Sunoco Pipelines, Cites Danger

May 24, 2018
Matt Slocum / AP

An administrative law judge has shut down work on a natural gas liquids pipeline in the Philadelphia suburbs, saying Sunoco has failed to take reasonable steps to warn people and protect them from danger.

Kim Paynter / WHYY

As state lawmakers prepare for budget negotiations, Governor Tom Wolf is once again trotting out a natural gas severance tax proposal in hopes of slipping it into the final deal. 

PJM Will Study ‘Fuel Security’ Of Electric Grid As Natural Gas Use Rises

May 1, 2018
Bob Bird / AP

As low natural gas prices force more coal and nuclear plants to retire, the grid operator for 65 million customers in the mid-Atlantic region says it will look at whether it’s becoming more susceptible to outages forced by extreme weather or cyber-attack.

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact Pennsylvania

More than a month after the Mariner East 1 pipeline was shut down over safety concerns, representatives for Sunoco say they’ve found no problems, and that they’re looking forward to getting the natural gas liquids pipeline running again.

But state officials say they’re not making any decisions to put the Mariner East 1 back in service yet.

Problems with the pipeline began late last year when a rash of sinkholes began opening up nearby. In early March, the state Public Utility Commission ordered that it be shut down.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A Houston-based pipeline operator says it's taking steps to move refined fuels in two directions on a portion of its Pennsylvania pipeline while it asks state regulators to allow it to reverse the flow from west to east.

Tim Lambert / WITF

Pennsylvania landowners for years have tried and failed to get the Legislature to protect royalties they receive from natural gas companies, but mineral owners in West Virginia just scored a victory.

The Health Risks Of Fracking From A To Z

Mar 29, 2018
Alex Brandon / AP

Over the last 4 years, the Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility have compiled a list of studies and reports which outline what they call “the risks and harms of fracking” to public health.

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Some Clearfield County residents have fought for years to block a proposed injection well to store wastewater from the state’s natural gas fields, but the project has secured a permit from Pennsylvania environmental officials.

At Greene County Coal Mine, Dwindling Production Means 370 Lost Jobs

Mar 8, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Austin Turner was headed back home to West Virginia on a recent afternoon from his job at the 4 West Mine in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. It was going to be one of his last shifts there, as the mine would be shutting down soon.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

When natural gas companies approached Charlie Clark and Jim Barrett about the minerals under their farms, the northern Pennsylvania landowners in neighboring counties both decided to let them drill.

Pittsburgh Suburbs Decide As Fracking Comes Near: Welcome It, Or Resist?

Feb 13, 2018
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Michael Thomas didn’t think the Marcellus shale industry, with its multi-acre well pads and large drilling operations, would come to the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum.

Are Pipelines To Blame For Decline In Ancient Salamanders?

Feb 9, 2018
Dave Herasimtschuk / Freshwaters Illustrated

As the natural gas industry matures in our region, construction of big transmission pipelines like the Constitution and the Rover continue make headlines. But there are also thousands of miles of smaller pipelines being built in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to connect drilling well pads to the energy distribution system. These lines have far less oversight and could be having big impacts on smaller streams, and the wildlife that lives there.

How Pipelines Are Changing The Dynamics Of PA Forests

Feb 8, 2018
Courtesy of Lillie Langolis

Some migratory birds need the deep, dark cover of Pennsylvania’s forests to breed. But natural gas development has cut into their habitat. 

Wolf Renews Battles On Natural Gas, Minimum Wage In Budget

Feb 6, 2018
Chris Knight / AP

  Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's election-year budget plan unveiled Tuesday will renew battles with the Republican-controlled Legislature over imposing a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas and increasing the minimum wage.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Rebounding prices for natural gas and a growth in new wells exploring Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale reservoir are fueling a recovery in fee revenue for state programs and county and municipal governments.

The Independent Fiscal Office projected Wednesday that impact fee collections for 2017 will be just above $219 million, $46 million more than 2016's low point of $173 million.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A $1.1 billion pipeline designed to bring Marcellus Shale natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to New Jersey has received federal approval, although the project lacks important permits in New Jersey.

PennEast Pipeline Company spokeswoman Patricia Kornick said Monday that she anticipates construction on the roughly 120-mile pipeline will begin this year and take about seven months. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave approval to the PennEast pipeline Friday over the protests of environmental groups, who say it would irreversibly damage the landscape.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

State environmental officials have fined a natural gas company $1.7 million for problems at well sites in Greene and Clearfield counties.

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