Amy Sisk

Energy Reporter for StateImpact Pennsylvania

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Amy Sisk covers energy for WESA and StateImpact Pennsylvania, a public media collaboration focused on energy.

She moved to Pennsylvania in 2017 from another energy-rich state, North Dakota, where she often reported from coal mines, wind farms and the oil patch. While there, she worked for NPR member station Prairie Public Broadcasting and the Inside Energy public media collaboration. She spent eight months following the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, her work frequently airing on NPR and other outlets. Amy loves traveling to rural communities -- she visited 217 small towns on the Dakota prairie -- and also covers rural issues here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gasoline prices in Pennsylvania will likely hit the $3-per-gallon mark this week, their highest level since 2014.

Rising gas prices are partly the result of high demand, said Jim Garrity, a spokesperson for AAA East Central, which includes Pennsylvania and nearby states. The demand for gas right now nationwide is greater than any other April on record.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Researchers have a new way of tracking the song sparrows, dark-eyed juncos and other birds that fly about the Laurel Highlands.

Courtesy Photo

Several Fayette County students are in Washington D.C. this week to showcase projects they have been working on in their school’s “Fab Lab.”

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.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Six months after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, 200,000 residents still lack electricity, the mayor of the island’s capital city told a crowded Carnegie Mellon University ballroom Wednesday night.

Carmen Yulín Cruz, who received a master’s degree from CMU in the 1980s, came back to the campus to speak at “Energy Week” alongside Pittsburgh’s mayor.

She said the situation in Puerto Rico is still dire for many.

Wayne Parry / AP

Across Pennsylvania, four in 10 registered voters say they have personally experienced problems related to climate change, according to a recent poll from StateImpact Pennsylvania and Franklin & Marshall College.

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.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Millions of Pennsylvania drivers make an annual trip to their local auto shop to test their vehicle’s emissions. Two decades after this ritual began, some are questioning its necessity.

Allegheny County Elections Division

Short answer = highly unlikely.

 

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory early Wednesday morning in the special election to represent Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, but Republican Rick Saccone hasn't conceded and the race is technically still too close to call.

 

So can Saccone make up Lamb's current 627-vote advantage?

 

Here’s the breakdown.

Climate State / Flickr

Solar energy advocates want to dramatically increase the amount of electricity generated from solar panels in the state.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have charged dozens of people for human trafficking since a tougher law took effect in 2014.

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.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

I stumbled across a Washington Post story this morning that describes how Russia’s Internet Research Agency tried to manipulate the debate over energy-related issues in the United States via social media.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As Pennsylvania’s gas boom helps propel the United States away from coal-fired power, one energy researcher says the impact on climate change will be a wash.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Negotiators for Pittsburgh's teachers union and school district wrapped up a marathon bargaining session late Friday night without a deal in place, but with no imminent plans for a strike.

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said the two sides made progress Friday. They will meet again this week for another negotiating session.

Corgi HomePlan / Flickr

As Pennsylvania moves into the latter part of winter, 13,500 households that started the season without a safe source of heat still don’t have one.

Data released Wednesday by Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission shows there are fewer homes without a utility heating service this winter compared to last year. But when money’s tight, many families still turn to heating sources that pose fire risks.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A solar panel that arrives in the United States from overseas now comes with a higher price tag.

President Donald Trump last week imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The move comes at the request of U.S. solar manufacturers, who seek a level playing field amid competition from places like China, where the government subsidizes solar manufacturing.

A proposed coal mine is moving forward in southwestern Pennsylvania after its operator reached a settlement with an environmental group.

The Mountain Watershed Association raised concerns that LCT Energy’s Rustic Ridge mining operation could contaminate the Indian Creek Watershed. The parties reached a settlement this week after the watershed group had appealed the mine’s permits to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.

Julie Jacobson / AP, file

Southwestern Pennsylvania will soon have another casino.

Climate State / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s solar industry will feel the effects of the Trump administration’s move to place a tariff on foreign-built solar panels, but it won’t stop solar installations in the state, according to industry experts.

American solar manufacturers had requested a tariff because they found it difficult to compete with imported panels, particularly ones built in China and subsidized by the Chinese government.

Susan Walsh / AP

As the federal government nears a shutdown, frustration is mounting among federal employees tasked with overseeing the Mid-Atlantic region’s environment and energy-related programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it has enough money to stay open for a week in the event of a shutdown.

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.

Vaxomatic / flickr

While the wind power industry booms across the United States thanks to favorable federal and state policies, the development of new wind farms has stalled in Pennsylvania.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

While the United States burned less coal in 2017 than it had in three decades, an uptick in global demand for Appalachia’s metallurgical coal -- used in the steel making process -- helped boost production this past year, according to a new analysis by an economic research firm.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Activity in Pennsylvania’s gas fields slowed in recent years amid low prices, but operators ramped up drilling in 2017, and they’re expecting to drill even more in the new year.

Tim Lambert / WITF

CNX Gas Co. has agreed to pay two fines to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for drilling violations that took place in 2015 and 2016 in Greene County.

The penalties, totaling $433,500, stem from incidents at four well sites that affected waterways and vegetation, according to the DEP.

The company failed to properly control and dispose of flowback and drilling fluids, and it did not take adequate steps to prevent erosion and sedimentation, among other violations, the department said in a news release.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The priorities set by a new presidential administration dominated energy news in 2017. President Donald Trump and his cabinet set an agenda to “unleash” America’s energy potential, removing the barriers they perceive to be holding back domestic energy production -- often to the dismay of the environmental community.

Greg Sousa / AP

Most drivers who hit roadkill leave the carcass on the ground, but several thousand Pennsylvanians in 2017 wanted to make the dead animal their next meal.

 

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The company behind a new coal mine in Somerset County intends to open another in the area, and some residents worry the new operation could hurt their water quality.

The Keyser underground mine would produce metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel. Wilson Creek Energy, a subsidiary of Corsa Coal Corp., is seeking permits from the Department of Environmental Protection to begin operations.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As lawmakers hash out differences between the tax bills in front of Congress, they must decide whether to keep a proposed tax break for oil and gas investors -- and just how big the reduction should be.

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