September 11, 2014
ISSUE | FRACKING OK to speak up, docs Contrary to your editorial, the Commonwealth Court could not have been clearer with respect to claims that Act 13 contains a gag rule ("Unearthing drilling risks," Sept. 8). Indeed, the court wrote, "Nothing in Act 13 precludes a physician from sharing with other medical providers any trade secrets that are necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of an individual. " Thanks to Gov. Corbett, Pennsylvania remains one of only two states to expressly guarantee that health care professionals receive all chemical information related to the fracking process.
June 25, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - New research in Pennsylvania demonstrates that it's hard to nail down how often natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water. One study found high levels of methane in some water wells within a half-mile of gas wells, while another found some serious methane pollution occurring naturally far away from drilling. The findings represent a middle ground between critics of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing who claim it causes widespread contamination, and an industry that suggests they are rare or nonexistent.
April 25, 2013
This article originally misstated the number of jobs the oil and gas industry supports. It is 9.6 million. By Chris Faulkner America is in the midst of an energy renaissance that's transforming communities. Consider Karnes County, Texas. A few years ago, the community was plagued by poverty. Today, it's not uncommon for local residents to collect $70 million each month in royalties for allowing energy companies to drill on their land. The wealth has increased the county's tax base almost six-fold in two years.
January 3, 2013 |
In the new movie Promised Land , Matt Damon plays an energy worker in rural Pennsylvania who has a crisis of conscience about the environmental risks of the drilling method known as fracking. But the reality is much more promising than Promised Land suggests. If regulated effectively, fracking can contribute enormously to U.S. growth and energy independence while combating climate change. The United States has massive deposits of natural gas and oil in shale formations, much of them in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and elsewhere in the Northeast.
August 1, 2012 |
TRY TO IMAGINE that you live in a nice suburban residential neighborhood and someone wants to open up an industrial chicken farm nearby — or maybe a fireworks factory or a steel mill. Surely, local zoning laws would not permit it, just as they would prohibit other commercial and industrial uses of residential areas. But Act 13, Pennsylvania's giveaway to the fracking industry, would allow natural-gas drilling in nearly any neighborhood where drillers want to drill, including towns whose zoning does not allow it. And there would be nothing you — or the local leaders you elected to protect your quality of life — could do about it. As part of a law that created impact fees for hydraulic fracturing, Act 13 allows natural-gas drilling in every zoning district, with some buffers: drilling has to be 300 feet from springs, rivers and wetlands; 500 feet from buildings and water wells, and 1,000 feet of drinking-water sources.
June 23, 2012 |
IN THE REGION Delta completes refinery buy Delta Air Lines on Friday finalized its purchase of the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer and will begin to bring back about 400 employees who were laid off last year when the plant was idled. A Delta spokesman said that its subsidiary, Monroe Energy L.L.C., will start a turnaround at the Delaware County refinery after the July 4 holiday with the aim of resuming fuel production this fall. The airline paid $180 million for the plant, with the Corbett administration chipping in $30 million on the condition that Monroe maintain 400 employees for five years.
June 23, 2012 |
Chesapeake Energy will pay $1.6 million to settle allegations that its Marcellus Shale drilling caused methane to leak into the drinking-water wells of three homes in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Oklahoma City gas producer will buy the homes as part of the settlement. The settlement was reached Thursday while the case was before an arbitration panel in Philadelphia. Chesapeake in 2011 paid $900,000 in fines to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for allowing gas to contaminate the water wells of 16 Bradford County homes, including the three on Paradise Road that settled this week.
April 20, 2012 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it would not take any action in response to tests of 16 more drinking-water wells in the embattled natural gas-drilling town of Dimock, Pa., and one resident whose well showed elevated levels of carcinogenic arsenic declined the agency's offer for alternative water. The test results largely reinforced findings the EPA released recently on its tests of 31 other residential water wells in the Susquehanna County township, where opponents and supporters of Marcellus Shale natural gas development have clashed.
April 6, 2012 |
Well-water tests of 20 more homes in the embattled natural-gas drilling town of Dimock, Pa. showed no contamination levels "that present a health concern based on risk assessments," a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday. "This set of sampling did not show levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take immediate action," said Roy Seneca, a spokesman in EPA's regional office in Philadelphia. The test results reinforced initial findings the EPA released last month on its tests of 11 other residential water wells in the Susquehanna County township, the epicenter of a clash between opponents and supporters of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale formation.
February 1, 2012 |
In the latest salvo over Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the embattled town of Dimock, a natural gas company on Tuesday alleged that federal regulators had cherry-picked old test data to distort the amount of contamination in drinking-water wells. Cabot Oil & Gas Co., whose drilling was blamed for the pollution, said that the drinking-water tests the Environmental Protection Agency used to justify its Jan. 19 order to deliver fresh water supplies to four Dimock houses "do not accurately represent the water quality" and are inconsistent with the body of data collected at the residences.