Marcellus Shale en Report Details Effects of Gas Drilling <p>The effects of natural gas drilling under state forests aren’t being ignored, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).</p><p>The department’s first Shale Gas Monitoring Report, released Wednesday, outlines its efforts through 2012 to monitor the impacts of gas development on water, air, energy, forest health, soils and wildlife.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:06:04 +0000 Julian Routh 27740 at Mars Parents Want Two-Mile Fracking Buffer <p>The fight over placing a nonconventional gas well about a half-mile from five Mars Area School District schools has moved out of the district’s boardroom and into the boardrooms of a pair of local townships.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:57:52 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 27608 at New Way to Pay for Affordable Housing Proposed <p>Sen. John Blake has purposed a new way of paying for the housing trust fund which is intended to pay to repair and build affordable houses across Pennsylvania, except it has no money.</p><p>Act 105 was passed in 2010, but the counties have had a hard time using its provisions due to the lack of funds. Currently payments are to come from Marcellus Shale impact fee, but Blake says it is never getting there. Instead, he wants to add fees to real estate related legal filings.</p> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:09:59 +0000 Jess Lasky 27049 at Results Mixed In 2012 Natural Gas Drilling Emissions Data <p>The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has released <a href="">annual emissions data</a> for Marcellus Shale natural gas production for 2012. Emissions are tracked each year in an effort to assess air quality in the state. &nbsp;</p><p>“The data shows two decreases and four increases in pollutant categories from natural gas emissions,” said DEP spokeswoman Morgan Wagner. “However, overall, total air contaminate emissions across the state have continued to decline.”</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 17:19:21 +0000 Deanna Garcia 27033 at Report Says PA Gas Drilling Taxes Are Low <p>A new report from a nonpartisan office of the state legislature says that Pennsylvania's taxes on the natural gas drilling boom are among the lowest in the nation.<br /><br />The figures released Thursday by the Independent Fiscal Office found that Pennsylvania is the only state with significant production that doesn't impose a severance tax based on the volume of gas produced.<br /> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 19:31:48 +0000 The Associated Press 26264 at Fitzgerald Faces Council, Activists Over Deer Lakes Gas Drilling Deal <p>Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald delivered his quarterly state of the county address Tuesday night and had plenty of praise for county departments.</p><p>Fitzgerald acknowledged public works for its handling of the roughest winter weather in recent memory, the health department for its successful efforts to improve air quality in the county and the medical examiner’s Office for a recent national award it received for ballistics work.</p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:48:48 +0000 Liz Reid 26092 at Fitzgerald Faces Council, Activists Over Deer Lakes Gas Drilling Deal Policy Researchers Urge PA, OH and WV Governors to Adopt Common Tax for Oil and Natural Gas <p>Policy and research groups from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio have joined forces to urge their states’ governors to adopt a common severance tax rate for companies drilling for gas and oil in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:25:41 +0000 Liz Reid 25610 at CMU's Cohon to Head Energy Institute <p>A former president of Carnegie Mellon University is bringing his clout and his ability to raise money to a relatively new institute on campus designed to explore the intersection of energy use, production and policy.</p><p>Starting July 1, CMU President Emeritus and University Professor Jared Cohon will add to his business card the title of Scott Energy Institute Director.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:48:39 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 24665 at Chevron Marcellus Shale Well Still Burning in Greene County <p>State environmental officials and expert firefighters brought in by Chevron have been continuing to monitor a burning Marcellus Shale natural gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania.<br /><br />The well about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh in Dunkard Township erupted into flames shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, injuring one worker and leaving one still unaccounted for early Wednesday.<br /><br />State Department of Environmental Protection officials say the fire may burn for days, delaying efforts to determine its cause.<br /> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 14:57:06 +0000 The Associated Press 24302 at What Happened to DCNR’s $6 Million Marcellus Monitoring Report? <p>After spending more than three years and $6 million to monitor how gas drilling is affecting public forests, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has yet to release the information, and environmental groups are beginning to raise questions.<br /><br />In late 2010, the Rendell administration launched the program– touting it as one of the most aggressive monitoring initiatives by a public agency in the nation.<br /><br />More than three years later, under the Corbett administration, DCNR has so far refused to share its findings with the public.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:40:25 +0000 Marie Cusick | StateImpact Pennsylvania 23460 at What Happened to DCNR’s $6 Million Marcellus Monitoring Report? Energy Alliance: Fracking Is Not a 'Four-Letter Word' <p>An energy supply and consumption watchdog group is taking its fight against a proposed moratorium on shale drilling in Pennsylvania to the lawmakers sponsoring the bill and to their constituents.&nbsp;</p><p>The Consumer Energy Alliance sent a letter to State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) asking him to pull the legislation from consideration.&nbsp; SB 1100 was introduced in September and was referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee where it has languished ever since.</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:32:10 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 22763 at Allegheny County Health Department Celebrates Fracking Regulatory Victory <p>The Allegheny County Health Department is celebrating a legislative victory that will allow them to more effectively monitor air and water pollution.</p><p>In December, County Council passed a law that requires companies performing hydraulic fracturing within the county to notify the Health Department as each phase of the process begins.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 22:14:48 +0000 Liz Reid 22543 at Drillers Will Adhere to Minimum Distances From Water Despite Court Ruling <p>While he awaits a decision whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will reconsider its decision to strike down part of Act 13, Gov. Tom Corbett is asking oil and gas drillers to continue to follow the environmental requirements established in that statewide drilling law.</p><p>“I am calling upon Pennsylvania’s oil and gas operators to honor both the spirit and intent of these setback provisions to continue helping us protect Pennsylvania’s water and natural resources,” Corbett said.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 18:49:50 +0000 Kevin Gavin 22460 at PA Natural Gas Advisory Committee Scheduled To Meet Again <p>Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Advisory Committee (NGAC) is supposed to discuss the role of state forest land in energy production — it just hasn’t done it yet.</p><p>The commonwealth has already leased about 385,400 acres of forest land for natural gas extraction, according to a report released by the DCNR in October.</p> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 16:54:55 +0000 Michael Lynch 19744 at State Lawmakers Propose Marcellus Shale Severance Tax <p>A group of state lawmakers and advocates are calling on their colleagues to consider placing a tax on the production of natural gas.<br /><br />Under Gov. Tom Corbett, the Legislature passed an impact fee, which put a levy on each well drilled.<br /><br />Supporters of the severance tax idea point out Pennsylvania is the only state within shale formations that doesn’t tax gas yields.<br /><br />Democratic Representative Harry Readshaw of Allegheny County notes such a tax would bring in more money than the impact fee, at a time when dollars are sorely needed.<br /> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 22:24:16 +0000 Mary Wilson 21559 at Airport Authority to Hold Public Workshop on Oil and Gas Drilling <p>The Allegheny County Airport Authority will hold a public workshop Tuesday to answer questions about <a href="">oil and gas development plans</a> at Pittsburgh International Airport.</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:00:50 +0000 Liz Reid 21387 at State Board Holds Public Hearings on Tighter Oil and Gas Regulations <p>The state Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold hearings next month on a proposed package of regulations that would govern surface operations of oil and gas producers.</p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 20:57:27 +0000 Tim Camerato 21332 at Duquesne University Hosts Fracking Conference <p>More than two dozen researchers meet Monday at Duquesne University as part of a symposium on the latest findings regarding Marcellus Shale drilling.</p><p>Foundation-funded researchers from universities including Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke and Yale presented their independent research on topics such as air quality, human and animal health, effects on water treatment plants and local government response to shale gas development.</p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Michael Lynch 20271 at The '10 Commandments' of Drilling <p></p><p>The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed in July that drilling in Dimock, Susquehanna County had caused methane to migrate into groundwater in that community.</p><p>According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, there have been 41,000 wells drilled in the state over the past twelve years—oil, traditional gas and Marcellus Shale.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:09:39 +0000 Kevin Gavin 20201 at How Many Jobs Are Created by Drilling in PA? <p>Many have deemed shale drilling controversial due to concerns with groundwater contamination and even earthquakes, but the shale gas industry says it creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">However, five research and policy organizations claim the shale industry is overestimating its impact.</span></p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:06:16 +0000 Jessica Nath 20207 at In Pittsburgh, Corbett Says Shale Opponents Are 'Economic Development Deniers' <p>At a shale gas conference in Pittsburgh Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett defended his policies promoting drilling in the state, and defended his own math, too.<br /><br />Corbett, who is running for re-election, said drilling under his watch was responsible for a vast economic lift to the state. "More than 200,000 jobs have either been created, made more prosperous or made more secure" by the drilling boom brought on by fracking in Pennsylvania.<br /><br />“That number of course seems to bother some out there," said Corbett.<br /> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:03:38 +0000 Reid Frazier | The Allegheny Front 19832 at After PA Couple Discovers Plan to Drill on Unleased Land, Energy Company Cancels Permit <p></p><p>It all started with beans.</p><p>Joyce and Steve Libal run a small orchard on their 63-acres in Little Meadows, Susquehanna County where they sell fruit and organic vegetables.</p><p>One day in early September, a friend came by to purchase ten pounds of green bush beans.</p><p>“In this area, with all the drilling going on, the conversations usually end up talking about the gas industry,” Steve Libal says. “And he just brought up that he had seen, he’s a borough councilman and they received a packet of information about a well pad behind our house.”</p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:48:00 +0000 State Impact 18756 at After PA Couple Discovers Plan to Drill on Unleased Land, Energy Company Cancels Permit Wild and Scenic Film Festival Comes to Pittsburgh <p>A film festival that explores the beauty of nature but also potential negative impacts from oil and gas drilling has its Pittsburgh premiere this month.</p><p>The Allegheny Defense Project will host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival to provide a forum to discuss the growing climate crisis Americans face and inspire action.</p><p>According to Matt Peters, the events and outreach coordinator at the Allegheny Defense Project, the goal of the festival is to highlight nature both locally in Pittsburgh as well as around the world and raise awareness about potential threats to it.</p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 17:42:21 +0000 Pat Higgins 17440 at Package of Marcellus Shale Bills Still Up in the Air in Harrisburg <p>The Pennsylvania General Assembly gaveled into session this week after a long summer break, and on the agenda are items related to the use of natural gas from Marcellus Shale.</p><p>But the package of bills aimed at expanding use of the resource has some environmental groups concerned.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 07:00:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 17013 at Discussing Municipal Bans on Fracking <p>In 2010, Pittsburgh was the first municipality in the nation to institute a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Many others have followed suit, including the boroughs of Baldwin, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg, as well as State College, PA.</p><p>Now citizens in Youngstown, Ohio are looking at the structure of Pittsburgh’s fracking ban in shaping a their own ordinances. PublicSource reporter Natasha Khan recently wrote about the <a href="">ongoing debates</a> in Youngstown as it pertains to jobs and environmental concerns.</p><p>Opponents of the Youngstown ban say it’s unconstitutional for a municipality to regulate beyond state and federal law. Similar objections have also been raised in Pennsylvania. Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:05:29 +0000 Heather McClain 17071 at Discussing Municipal Bans on Fracking