Ongoing conflict between Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry and its opponents will reach a new focus on October 17 when the state’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over whether state law can pre-empt local regulations over gas development.
At issue is a section of Act 13, a wide-ranging new law that restricts the ability of municipalities to control the location of gas drilling within their bounds, as well as imposing impact fees and a host of other conditions on the industry drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus and Utica Shales beneath Pennsylvania. Keep reading →
Pennsylvania’s natural gas executives recently launched a new drive to build public support for the industry that has generated thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state but is viewed with skepticism or outright opposition by some people.
“Learn About Shale”, a new website, is targeted at consumers in the five counties of metropolitan Philadelphia, an area that has not experienced the intensive gas development seen in many other areas of the state during the gas boom of the last five years, but which contains 45 percent of state’s population and contains strong resistance to the gas industry in some quarters. Keep reading →
Supporters and opponents of shale gas development resumed their war of words on Thursday as Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry gathered for Shale Gas Insight, its annual forum on the development of the Marcellus Shale, one of America’s biggest gas reserves.
Industry and government leaders argued that fracking for natural gas can and is being done without endangering public water supplies, and that industry is taking increasing steps to ensure that fracking chemicals don’t seep in to groundwater. Keep reading →
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
A reported plan by New York State government to allow natural gas drilling in a handful of counties may represent an effective lifting of the state’s moratorium on fracking but increases the chances that energy companies will run into local opposition, analysts said. Keep reading →
Plans to roll back parts of Pennsylvania’s controversial new law on natural gas development would make the state less attractive to energy companies seeking to develop the Marcellus Shale, one of America’s biggest gas fields, critics say.
Democratic lawmakers in the state House want to remove a measure in Act 13 that restricts the control of municipalities over gas development, and to cancel a section that requires doctors to sign a confidentiality agreement if gas companies disclose the identities of fracking chemicals to them. Keep reading →
For Pennsylvanians with natural gas wells on their land, chances are they won’t know if a safety violation occurs on their property. That’s because the state agency charged with regulating the wells — the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — does not have to notify landowners if a violation is discovered. Even if landowners inquire about safety violations, DEP records are often too technical for the average person and incomplete. While some landowners would like more transparency around safety issues, as a group they are not pushing for stronger regulations. Landowners, who are paid royalties by the companies that drill on their property, generally want the drilling to proceed.
The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is trying to disprove criticism of its fracking practices by preemptively issuing new voluntary guidelines even as the sector comes under greater scrutiny.
A group representing the natural gas industry in the Marcellus Shale issued its first recommendations on industry best practices in an effort improve its conservation ethic and deflect criticism that operators are damaging natural landscapes with wells, roads and compressor stations. Keep reading →
Natural gas industry calls for relying on statewide standards of regulation received a setback when a Pennsylvania court placed a temporary injunction on a new law that limits local control over the industry.
Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Keith Quigley ordered on April 11 that local ordinances over zoning for oil and gas installations must remain in place for the time being, placing a temporary hold on part of Pennsylvania’s new Act 13, a wide-ranging law governing development of the Marcellus Shale, one of America’s biggest natural gas fields. Keep reading →
Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would impose fees on natural gas companies drilling in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation and allow the revenue to be used by local communities to offset the impact of the state’s booming shale-gas industry.
If signed into law as expected by Governor Tom Corbett, the bill will end Pennsylvania’s status as the only US gas-producing state that does not impose any kind of levy on energy companies for natural gas drilling. Keep reading →