State Impact / Energy. Environment. Economy

State Impact

WPSU is taking part in StateImpact, a reporting partnership between public radio stations and NPR. The focus of the Pennsylvania project is the impact of government on the energy industry, in particular natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

Marie Cusick

Economics may hinder Berks County gas-to-liquids plant

A proposal to build a plant that would transform Pennsylvania’s cheap, abundant natural gas into more expensive motor fuel is generating controversy in Berks County. If built, the gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant would be one of the first facilities of its kind in the United States. But industry analysts say there’s a reason these kinds of plants [...]

Katie Colaneri

Chevron pizza controversy puts southwest Pa. coal town in the spotlight

Bobtown is having its 15 minutes of fame. The small town in southwest Pennsylvania has been on the lips of late-night comedians, Twitter wits and anti-fracking activists. First, in February, a Chevron natural gas well near Bobtown exploded, killing a young worker. Then, the company responded by giving community residents free coupons to Bobtown Pizza. This struck Chevron’s critics [...]

Katie Colaneri

Lawmakers focus on rail safety as more oil trains to move through Pa.

As many as 500 people have been working around the clock to turn an old coal-fired power plant in Eddystone, Delaware County into a terminal for crude oil. By the end of April, trains hauling 80,000 barrels of crude will arrive every day from North Dakota to help feed refineries along the Delaware River. “That [...]

Marie Cusick

Lt. Governor Cawley: Chesapeake Energy royalty practices are ‘egregious’

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley sat down with StateImpact Pennsylvania recently to talk about how the Corbett administration is handling allegations of fraud against the state’s biggest natural gas driller– Chesapeake Energy. Corbett recently reached out to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and asked her to investigate complaints the company is cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of royalty money. [...]

Katie Colaneri

Pa. towns with no zoning rules unlikely to limit gas drilling

It seemed like a game-changer late last year when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court restored the power of local communities to limit natural gas development within their borders. After all, three out of every five municipalities on the Marcellus Shale have zoning laws to that would apply. However, in the state’s rural Northern Tier, where drilling [...]

Marie Cusick

Scientists document gas development disturbing forest ecosystems

  Pennsylvania is no stranger to extractive industries–like coal and timber. By the early twentieth century its forests were decimated. Today they’ve grown back and trees are harvested in a sustainable manner. But scientists say the state’s surge in natural gas development is having new kinds of dramatic effects on its forests. “Industrial infrastructure” Kevin [...]

Marie Cusick

DEP’s climate change plan doesn’t set goal to reduce emissions

A draft update of Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Action Plan lacks a specific target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The state’s previous Action Plan–published by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2009– set an emissions reduction target of 30 percent by the year 2020. According to the DEP, there is no target this time because state [...]

Katie Colaneri

To clear the air, some Susquehanna County residents leave the fracking debate behind

Two years ago, Victoria Switzer and her neighbors had stopped speaking. Switzer was one of the residents of Dimock who claimed natural gas drilling had ruined their water supplies. The small village in Susquehanna County became synonymous with flaming taps and jugs of muddy brown drinking water. But the media blitz angered her neighbors, the Teels, [...]

Marie Cusick

Royalty disputes fuel anger over state’s oversight of gas production data

The Marcellus Shale is one of the most productive natural gas formations in the world. But when it comes to measuring precisely how productive it is, Pennsylvania doesn’t audit the numbers. Natural gas production data is submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection directly from drillers and published online before it’s verified. As allegations [...]

Laura Legere

Morning Edition: “The Frackers” author on what more U.S. oil means for geopolitics

Yesterday the U.S. Energy Department announced a milestone last seen nearly two decades ago: the United States produced more crude oil in a month than it imported. Morning Edition spoke with Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman, author of The Frackers, about the geopolitical implications of that increased domestic energy production. Zuckerman (not to be [...]


Stories from WPSU

Marcellus Shale Drilling Makes Housing Hard to Find

Marcellus Drinking Water Study Finds Little Impact

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow Explains Corbett’s Impact Fee Proposal

How to Drill a Marcellus Gas Well

Marcellus Shale Tax versus Fee