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

Gas boom starts to hit home for residents of Southeastern Pa.

In the past few years, the Marcellus Shale has rapidly become one of the most productive gas plays on the planet. But for many people in Southeastern Pennsylvania– the state’s most populated region– the boom has been out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Until now. The region is beginning to experience the tradeoffs long familiar to those who live [...]

Marie Cusick

Thousands rally in Harrisburg to support Marcellus Shale development

Thousands of supporters of natural gas development marched to the steps of the state Capitol in Harrisburg today. Estimates of up to 3,000 people from all over the state hopped on buses and turned out for the day-long event, hosted by the state’s main gas industry trade group—the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Bob Beck works for [...]

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 [...]

Marie Cusick

Court bars anti-fracking activist from more than 300 square miles of Pa.

A judge has signed off on an order which bars an anti-fracking activist from setting foot on more than 300 square miles–or nearly 40 percent–of Susquehanna county. It’s all the land owned or leased by the area’s biggest driller, Cabot Oil and Gas. Although Cabot asked for the court order, a spokesman for the company says [...]

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 [...]


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