Roadmap for Shapiro-Davis Administration in PA

UPDATE: Governor Shapiro made two brief references to the environment during his inaugural address:
  • “Like Gen Z who continue to make progress on climate change…”
  • “Where our air is clean, our water is pure, our communities healthier…”
Full text of his inaugural address:
GUEST POST: 60 Years Of Fracking, 20 Years Of Shale Gas: Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Infrastructure Is Hiding In Plain Sight

By David E. Hess | PA Environment Blog Digest | Jan 17, 2023

“After 20 years of experience and a new Governor coming into office, now would be a logical time for a comprehensive review of the unconventional shale gas industry and its impact on Pennsylvania’s environment and our people. A growing body of information on environmental and health impacts of the sprawling shale gas and conventional industry has been accumulating over the last 20 years and cannot be ignored by continuing the “happy talk” from the industry and their supporters. Pennsylvania needs a reality check.”

DAVID E. HESS, SECRETARY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FROM 2001 TO 2003, EXECUTIVE DEPUTY AT DEP FROM 1995 TO 2001
The first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859. 

The first oil or gas well hydraulically fracked was a conventional well in 1963 in Warren County.  

2023 is the 20th anniversary of the drilling of the first shale gas well in Pennsylvania that was also the first shale gas well fracked in 2004.

It seems like a good time to review how the vast network of industrial oil and gas facilities has spread out over Pennsylvania’s landscape.

Like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, we each only see one part of the creature and cannot imagine, based on our limited perspective, what it is that we are seeing and what the collective impact of those facilities are on our lives, health and the environment.

If you use natural gas in your home or business, you are connected directly to this sprawling infrastructure and are personally responsible for supporting it.

Map source: https://maps.fractracker.org/latest/?appid=28041aae3e674e04b0f987f047f3fe59

Not Pretty Or Idyllic

Do you believe drilling oil and natural gas wells is a clean business?  Obviously not.  It’s a dirty, loud and sometimes dangerous industrial process for its workers and neighbors.

While the work is honorable, the people who run the conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas companies have created an industrial machine that cuts through farms and forests– even Pennsylvania’s only national forest– punching holes in the ground, generating and spreading pollution, creating waste dumps and new brownfields, producing wastewater that has to be managed for decades to come and imposing legal liabilities for plugging those wells on well owners and state taxpayers with every new well they drill.

DEP reports there have now been 202,188 conventional oil and gas wells drilled and 23,130 unconventional shale gas wells permitted in Pennsylvania.

There are also about 250,000 abandoned conventional wells, although no one is really sure how many.

But oil and gas wells are just the beginning

Distribution Pipelines— 81,000 miles gas distribution pipelines (100,000 miles of most unmapped gathering pipelines) and growing

Compressor Stations: over 600 and counting

Natural Gas Processing Plants – 10 industrial natural gas processing plants and expanding

Underground Gas Storage Facilities – 51 active facilities based on conventional oil and gas well fields.

Click Here to find oil and natural gas facilities near you.

Map source: https://maps.fractracker.org/latest/?appid=28041aae3e674e04b0f987f047f3fe59

Description Of Gas Industry Infrastructure

The Environmental Health Project put together a description with photos of each stage of developing natural gas industrial infrastructure from the well pad to your local natural gas utility that delivers gas to your home or business.

The factsheet also provides a description of the environmental, health and community impact of each step.

The steps include–

— Initial Exploration – Seismic Testing

— Leasing & Permitting

— Well Pad Development – Drilling, Casing

— Preparation for Hydraulic Fracturing -Trucking Water, Frac Fluids, Sand

— Production – Flaring, Condensate Tanks, Glycol Dehydrators, Wellheads

— Pipelines & Processing – Compressor Stations, Metering Stations, Pig Launchers, Processing and cryogenic plants

— Storage Facilities

— Waste Disposal – Injection wells, solid waste landfills, wastewater treatment forever

[Note: One update to the fact sheet– spreading wastewater on roads from unconventional shale gas wells was outlawed by DEP in 2016 regulations.

[Spreading wastewater on roads from conventional oil and gas wells is illegal because it does not meet the requirements of DEP’s Residual Waste Regulations, but it’s still going on.  Read more here.]

Click Here to read through the EHP industry description.

Well pads and access roads are miles from water withdrawals requiring trucks and pipelines to connect the two. 

Drilling and fracking is a very loud business that happens at all hours of the day and night.  Imagine living next to a jet engine at times.

If you happen to be the minimum setback of 500 feet away from a well pad– maybe five houses or so– many people just temporarily leave their homes to avoid the noise and the dirt and try to take care of their farm animals the best they can.

Gathering pipelines for natural gas are connected to compressor stations that burn fuel that causes air pollution to push natural gas dozens of more miles further across the landscape.  

Pipeline routes that cross streams and wetlands have to be cleared of trees, dug up and restored as best they can.

Dewatering and natural gas processing facilities that connect to pipelines with more compressor stations are dozens of miles and more from where the gas comes out of the ground.  

Storage tanks and impoundments with freshwater and production wastewater at well sites and gathering points are dozens or hundreds of miles from wastewater treatment facilities or injection wells where the waste is disposed of.

Networks of huge natural gas storage facilities that are hidden underground use decades old conventional oil or gas wells to operate.  

A vast network of hundreds of miles of pipeline with more compressor stations deliver natural gas to utilities that in turn deliver it to homes, businesses and factories.

Click Here for more on this industrial process moving across Pennsylvania’s landscape.

20 Year Review

In December, DEP completed its first-ever review of how well the conventional oil and gas industry complies with environmental laws and regulations and concluded “(the) conventional oil and gas industry’s recent record of compliance with Pennsylvania law is simply not good, particularly with regard to improper abandonment of wells.”

“A significant change in the culture of non-compliance as an acceptable norm in the conventional oil and gas industry will need to occur before meaningful improvement can happen.”  Read more here.

The report makes recommendations on how to improve enforcement of state laws, in particular to deal with the most frequent environmental violation– routinely abandoning wells without plugging them. Read more here on abandonments.

DEP is in the middle of updating its environmental regulations covering the conventional oil and gas industry, something the industry has bitterly opposed, and we hope the new Shapiro-Davis Administration will follow through on.

2022 turned out to be a record year for the unconventional shale gas industry in Pennsylvania

…and not just the record jump in natural gas prices for consumers

— The most criminal convictions for environmental violations;

— A record number of environmental violations issued by DEP;

— Creating hundreds of new brownfields and waste dumps on well pads wherever they drill and work; and

— More evidence of the negative public health and environmental impacts of oil and gas facilities.  Read more here.

The estimated 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas that leaked from a Cambria County gas storage area in November [Read more here]; the ongoing pollution episodes caused by pipeline and water withdrawal construction in the Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek Watershed in Lycoming County [Read more here]; the recent explosion and 9.5 hour uncontrolled leak of ethane from a Washington County cryogenic processing facility [Read more here]; dozens of families being without clean drinking water since June as a result of a “frack-out” of a shale gas well in Greene County [Read more here]; the continued illegal dumping of conventional wastewater on roads [Read more here]; both unconventional and conventional operators creating hundreds of new brownfield sites with soil and water contamination from their industrial operations [Read more here]; unresolved impacts from Mariner East Pipeline on the homes of people like Navy Veterans Patrick and Helen Robinson in Indiana County [Read more here]; the investigation into rare childhood cancers in Southwest PA [Read more here]; allowing the resumption of shale gas development near Dimock, Susquehanna County an area notoriously difficult to frack without contaminating groundwater [Read more here]; and DEP’s shrinking financial resources to fund the Oil and Gas Regulatory Program [Read more here] are just the tip of the iceberg.  [Check out more Related Articles below.]

After 20 years of experience and a new Governor coming into office, now would be a logical time for a comprehensive review of the unconventional shale gas industry and its impact on Pennsylvania’s environment and our people.

A growing body of information on environmental and health impacts of the sprawling shale gas and conventional industry has been accumulating over the last 20 years and cannot be ignored by continuing the “happy talk” from the industry and their supporters.

Pennsylvania needs a reality check.

“We need to take advantage of Gov. Shapiro’s record of both holding the industry accountable as Attorney General and working with stakeholders to address the real and difficult issues we face. We hope that’s exactly what the new Shapiro-Davis Administration has in mind.”

David E. Hess

We need to take advantage of Gov. Shapiro’s record of both holding the industry accountable as Attorney General and working with stakeholders to address the real and difficult issues we face.

We hope that’s exactly what the new Shapiro-Davis Administration has in mind.

PA Oil & Gas Industry Compliance Reports

PA Oil & Gas Industry Has Record Year: Cost, Criminal Convictions Up; $3.1 Million In Penalties Collected; Record Number Of Violations Issued; Major Compliance Issues Uncovered; Evidence Of Health Impacts Mounts

DEP Report Finds: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Routinely Abandon Wells; Fail To Report How Millions Of Gallons Of Waste Is Disposed; And Non-Compliance Is An ‘Acceptable Norm’

PA DEP Weekly Public Notice Dashboards

— Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard – Dec. 31 to Jan. 6  [PaEN]

— PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment – Jan. 7  [PaEN]

Convictions/Penalties In 2022

AG Shapiro: Energy Transfer/Sunoco Convicted Of Criminal Charges Related To Construction Of Mariner East 2 & Revolution Natural Gas/Liquids Pipelines In PA  [PaEN]

AG Shapiro: Free Water Evaluations Begin For Homeowners Affected By Construction Of Mariner East 2 Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline  [PaEN]

AG Shapiro: Coterra Energy, Formerly Cabot Oil & Gas, Pleads No Contest To A Criminal Charge Related To Polluting Water Supplies In Dimock, Susquehanna County  [PaEN]

DEP Consent Agreement DEP Consent Agreement Allowing Shale Gas Drilling To Resume Under Dimock, Susquehanna County Sets New Drilling, Water Supply Protection Standards, Imposes $444,000 Penalty  [PaEN]

Only 15 Out Of 256 Conventional Oil & Gas Operators Who Abandoned Wells Without Plugging Them Were Fined By DEP; Small Penalties No Deterrent To Future Abandonments  [PaEN]

DEP Signed 2 Consent Agreements With PBF Petroleum Terminal On The Schuylkill River In Philadelphia For Storage Tank, Clean Streams Law Violations; Penalties Total $1,050,000  [PaEN]

DEP: Shell, Pipeline Contractor Assessed $670,000 Penalty For Falcon Ethane Pipeline Construction Violations In Allegheny, Beaver, Washington Counties  [PaEN]

DEP Assesses $600,000 Penalty For Illegal Disposal Of Over 1,800 Truck Loads Of Oil & Gas Waste Drill Cuttings In Fayette County  [PaEN]

DEP Assesses $200,000 In Penalties For Drilling Wastewater Spills By CNX In Greene County  [PaEN]

DEP Collects $147,250 Penalty From Rice Drilling B LLC For Erosion & Sedimentation Violations In Greene County; DEP Found Rice Had Hundreds Of Other Violations, Including Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them  [PaEN]

AG Shapiro: Southeast Directional Drilling Pleads Guilty To Contaminating Water Supply In Washington County, To Pay $15,000 Fine  [PaEN]

AG Shapiro Charges Energy Corporation Of America/Greylock, 2 Employees With Environmental Crimes Involving Leaks At Oil & Gas Well Sites In Clearfield, Greene Counties  [PaEN]

AP: PUC Judge: Sunoco/Energy Transfer Failed To Protect Delaware County Community During Construction Of Mariner East Pipeline, $51,000 Penalty Proposed  [PaEN]

PUC Approves $48,000 Refund To Sunoco Pipeline On A Penalty It Paid For Mariner East Pipeline Construction Violations   [PaEN]

House Environmental Committee To Hold Sept. 20 ‘Wellhead To Stovetop’ Hearing On Natural Gas In PA; Will They Mention $70 Million In Pipeline Penalties Assessed So Far?   [PaEN]

Major Compliance Issues

New Abandoned Wells: DEP Records Show Abandoning Oil & Gas Wells Without Plugging Them Is Pervasive In Conventional Drilling Industry; Who Is Protecting Taxpayers?  [PaEN]

— DEP 2021 Oil & Gas Program Annual Report Shows Conventional Oil & Gas Operators Received A Record 610 Notices Of Violation For Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them  [PaEN] 

12 Unconventional Shale Gas Drillers Issued DEP Notices Of Violation For Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them At 35 Well Pads In 17 Counties  [PaEN]

Bay Journal: New Abandoned Wells – More Concerns Emerge Over Pennsylvania’s Conventional Oil & Gas Wells  [PaEN]

Conventional Oil & Natural Gas Companies Accelerating Pace Of Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them Threatening To Put PA’s Taxpayer-Funded Well Plugging Program Even Further Behind  [PaEN]

DEP Issued NOVs To Conventional Oil & Gas Companies For Abandoning 55 Wells Without Plugging Them During September Alone, A Dramatic Increase In New Well Abandonments  [PaEN]

Gov. Wolf Signs Bill Creating Well Plugging Grant Program; Again Fails To Address Woefully Inadequate Conventional Well Plugging Bonding; Fails To Report On Bonding Petitions; Or Issue Conventional Drilling Compliance Report  [PaEN]

— Ohio River Valley Institute Report Shows Diversified Energy, Owner Of Over 22,500 Conventional Oil & Gas Wells In PA, May Be Financially Insolvent  [PaEN]

New Ohio River Valley Institute Report Shows Conventional Oil & Gas Well Owner Diversified Energy Lacks Resources To Plug Wells, Including 22,507 Wells In PA [PaEN]

DEP Preparing To Plug The Next 198 Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Wells With Federal Funding  [PaEN]

— DEP Ongoing Explosion/Fire Investigation: Energy Transfer Reported An Uncontrolled Release Of Ethane For 9.5 Hours From Its Revolution Natural Gas Processing Plant In Washington County   [PaEN]

Observer-Reporter: Explosion, Fire At Energy Transfer’s Revolution Natural Gas Cryogenic Plant Burned For Nearly 11 Hours On Christmas Day In Smith Twp., Washington County    [PaEN]

— Guest Essay: Counties, PEMA Need To Include A Complete Vulnerability Assessment Of All Natural Gas Facilities In State, County Hazard Mitigation Emergency Plans – By Cat (Cathy) Lodge, Washington County Resident  [PaEN]

After 14 Days, Efforts To Stop A Natural Gas Leak At A Cambria County Underground Gas Storage Area Have Apparently Been Successful  [PaEN]

DEP Has Ordered A ‘Top To Bottom Review’ Of How It Regulates Underground Natural Gas Storage Areas As A Result Of The Equitrans Gas Leak In Cambria County In Nov.  [PaEN]

DEP Issues Orders To Equitrans To Plug Additional Wells At Cambria County Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility, Bring Other Wells Up To Current Casing Standards And Take Other Actions  [PaEN]

EDF Blog: What A Catastrophic Natural Gas Leak In Pennsylvania Means For Our Climate And Health [PaEN]

Natural Gas, Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Are NOT Required To Carry Insurance Or Show They Can Pay For Damages If They Explode, Leak Or Kill Someone  [PaEN]

Penn State Study: Potential Pollution Caused By Road Dumping Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Makes It Unsuitable For A Dust Suppressant, Washes Right Off The Road Into The Ditch  [PaEN]

Bay Journal: Penn State Study: Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Spread On Pennsylvania Roads Bad For Health, Land  [PaEN]

Better Path Coalition: 65 Organizations, Businesses, 2,700+ Individuals Petition Gov.-Elect Shapiro To Ban Road Dumping Of Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater  [PaEN]

— Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Reported Spreading 977,671 Gallons Of Untreated Drilling Wastewater On PA Roads In 2021   [PaEN]

DEP Tells Citizens Advisory Council Road Dumping Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Still Does Not Meet Residual Waste Regulations; Remains Illegal  [PaEN]

Attorney General’s Office Reported To Be Investigating Conventional Oil & Gas Operators For Illegally Road Dumping Drilling Wastewater  [PaEN]

DEP Advises 18 Municipalities Where Road Dumping Of Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater Is Occurring The Practice Is Illegal And Considered Waste Disposal  [PaEN]

On-Site Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Waste Disposal Plans Making Hundreds Of Drilling Sites Waste Dumps  [PaEN]

— Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Dispose Of Drill Cuttings By ‘Dusting’ – Blowing Them On The Ground, And In The Air Around Drill Sites   [PaEN]

Creating New Brownfields: Oil & Gas Well Drillers Notified DEP They Are Cleaning Up Soil & Water Contaminated With Chemicals Harmful To Human Health, Aquatic Life At 272 Locations In PA   [PaEN]

DEP: Schedule For Updating Conventional Oil & Gas Environmental, Waste Regulations Will Be Up To Gov. Shapiro  [PaEN]

DEP: PA Fracking Operations Sent Nearly 236,000 Cubic Feet Of Radioactive TENORM Waste To Low-Level Radioactive Waste Facilities For Disposal In 2021 – 811,070 Since 2016  [PaEN]

Exceptional Value Water Quality Designation, State Forest Land, River Honors Were Not Enough To Protect Loyalsock Creek From Natural Gas Drilling & Pipelines In Lycoming County  [PaEN]

NO SPECIAL PROTECTION: The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek In Lycoming County Is Dammed And DamnedVideo Dispatch From The Loyalsock – By Barb Jarmoska, Keep It Wild PA [PaEN]

Rare Eastern Hellbender Habitat In Loyalsock Creek, Lycoming County Harmed By Sediment Plumes From Pipeline Crossings, Shale Gas Drilling Water Withdrawal Construction Projects  [PaEN]

Bay Journal: Hellbender Habitat Slammed By Pollution From Shale Gas Development In PA’s Loyalsock Creek  [PaEN]

— Fish & Boat Commission Investigation Of Pollution From PA General Energy Natural Gas Development Construction Site On Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek Results In Settlement Agreement  [PaEN]

DEP, Fish & Boat Commission Investigate Multiple, Continuing Water Pollution Discharges From PGE Natural Gas Pipeline Construction Site On Loyalsock Creek, Lycoming County  [PaEN]

DEP Issues 2 NOVs Against PA General Energy For Water Pollution Discharges Into The Loyalsock Creek From Gas Pipeline/Water Withdraw Construction In Lycoming County  [PaEN]

DEP: PA General Energy Cited For More Water Pollution Violations, Blocking The Whole Width Of Loyalsock Creek At Gas Pipeline/Water Withdrawal Construction Site In Lycoming County  [PaEN]

Citizen Complaints Result In DEP Issuing PA General Energy More Violations At Loyalsock Creek Gas Pipeline/Water Withdrawal Construction Site In Lycoming County  [PaEN]

Conservation Groups Urge DEP To Deny Transco Permits For Natural Gas Pipeline Thru Exceptional Value, High Quality Watersheds In Luzerne, Monroe Counties  [PaEN]

Environmental Groups Raise Serious Compliance Issues With Olympus Energy– Over 600 Violations On 13 DEP Permits– In Comments On Proposed Shale Gas Drilling Pad In Allegheny County  [PaEN]

DEP Issues Notice Of Violation To Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County For Air Quality Violations In Sept. – Oct.  [PaEN]

Dramatic Video From Carnegie Mellon’s Project Breathe Shows Shell Ethane Plant In Beaver County Flaring Natural Gas Due To Malfunction  [PaEN]

Guest Essay: Stop Giving Handouts To Natural Gas Industry, Make Them Clean Up Their Own Messes And Protect Public Health  [PaEN]

TribLive Editorial: State Fines Should Be Higher Than Tax Cuts To Penalize Environmental Leaks  [PaEN]

Republican Herald Editorial: State Lawmakers Should Adopt Rules That Preclude State Taxpayers From Subsidizing Pollution From Oil & Gas Industry  [PaEN]

DEP Budget Hearing: 40% Of Unconventional Natural Gas Well Permits Issued By DEP Were Not Used By Drillers [PaEN]

Health Issues

Environmental Health Project: PA’s Natural Gas Boom – What Went Wrong? Why Does It Matter? What Can We Do Better To Protect Public Health?  [PaEN]

Environmental Health Project: Setback Distances And The Regulations We Need To Protect Public Health From Oil & Gas Facilities  [PaEN]

— Senate Hearing: Body Of Evidence Is ‘Large, Growing,’ ‘Consistent’ And ‘Compelling’ That Shale Gas Development Is Having A Negative Impact On Public Health; PA Must Act  [PaEN]

— Presentations Now Available From Shale Gas & Public Health Conference In Nov. Hosted By PA League Of Women Voters & University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health   [PaEN]

— Shale Gas & Public Health Conference: Living Near Oil & Gas Facilities Means Higher Health Risks, The Closer You Live, The Higher The RiskBy Nicole Deziel PhD MHS, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health   [PaEN]

— Shale Gas & Public Health Conference: Economically, Socially Deprived Areas In PA Have A Much Greater Chance Of Having Oil & Gas Waste Disposed In Their CommunitiesBy Joan Casey, PhD, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health  [PaEN]

— Shale Gas & Public Health Conference: We’ve Got Enough Compelling Evidence To Enact Health Protective Policies For Families NowBy Edward C. Ketyer, M.D., President, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania   [PaEN]

— Shale Gas & Public Health Conference: When It Started, It Was Kind Of Nice, But What Happened Afterwards Really Kind Of Devastated Our CommunityBy Rev. Wesley Silva, former Council President Marianna Borough, Washington County   [PaEN]

Physicians For Social Responsibility Release 8th Compendium of Scientific, Medical, Media Findings On Risks, Harms Of Fracking And Oil & Gas Infrastructure   [PaEN]

Yale School Of Public Health Study Found PA Children 2 To 3 Times More Likely To Be Diagnosed With Leukemia If They Live Near Unconventional Shale Gas Facilities  [PaEN]

Washington County Community Meeting Updates Residents On PA Health & Environment Studies, Discusses Health Impacts Of Shale Gas Development  [PaEN]

Pitt School Of Public Health, PA Dept Of Health Abruptly Pull Out Of Oct. 5 Public Meeting They Helped Convene On Studies Looking At Links Between Natural Gas Development And Childhood Cancer Rates  [PaEN]

University Of Pittsburgh School Of Public Health Recruiting Families In Southwest PA For Study Of Childhood Cancer, One Of 3 Studies Of Potential Health Impacts Linked To Shale Natural Gas Development   [PaEN]

Guest Essay: PA’s Low-Producing Conventional Oil & Gas Wells Are Leaking Too Much Methane, The Industry Needs To Take Care Of Its Own Trash   [PaEN]

—  Concerned Health Professionals Of PA Ask Health Professionals To Sign Letter Urging Gov.-Elect Shapiro To Protect Public Health, Environment From Impacts Of Oil & Gas Industry  [PaEN]

— Study: Industry Data Shows Hazardous Air Pollutants Are ‘Ubiquitous’ In The Natural Gas Transmission System; More Justification For Robust Leak Prevention Programs   [PaEN]

Earthworks, FracTracker Alliance Release New Online Oil & Gas Threat Map; Find Natural Gas Facilities, Wells Near You [PaEN]

American Lung Association Report Details Health And Environmental Impacts Of Fuel-Burning Appliances At Home  [PaEN]

Impacts On Families

Observer-Reporter: Ongoing Water Donation Drive Helping Dozens Of Greene County Families Who Haven’t Had Clean Drinking Water Since June Following Alleged ‘Frack-Out’ At Natural Gas Well Site  [PaEN]

— Center For Coalfield Justice Holds First Water Distribution Day Nov. 19 To Help Provide Families Drinking Water In Greene County Following Alleged ‘Frack-Out’ At Natural Gas Well Site In June   [PaEN]

—  Oil & Gas Industry Impacts: Families Affected By Alleged ‘Frack-Out’ In Greene County Have A Little Happier Holiday Thanks To Water Donated By Center For Coalfield Justice   [PaEN]

Oil & Gas Industry Impacts: Navy Veterans Patrick & Helen Robinson Relate Their 7-Year Struggle Dealing With Impacts Of Mariner East Pipeline Construction In Indiana County, And They Continue   [PaEN]

Oil & Gas Industry Impacts: Cambria County Family Sues Sunoco After 3 Years Of Dealing With Damage To Home, Well, Septic System, Property From Mariner East Pipeline Construction    [PaEN]

— Washington County Family Lawsuit Alleges Shale Gas Company Violated The Terms Of Their Lease By Endangering Their Health, Contaminating Their Water Supply And Not Protecting Their Land    [PaEN]

FracTracker Alliance Announces 7 Winners Of 2022 Community Sentinel Award For Environmental Stewardship; Including PA’s Laurie Barr  [PaEN]

Impacts On Communities

Inside Climate News: Q/A With Eliza Griswold Pulitzer Winning Author Of Deep Dive Into Fracking In PA, How Extractive Industries ‘Gut’ Communities  [PaEN]

Conventional Oil & Natural Gas Drilling: An Industrial Machine Moving Across The PA Countryside Leaving Behind Big Liabilities & Spreading Pollution Everywhere It Goes [PaEN]

— FracTracker Alliance Releases 4th Watershed Oil & Gas Drilling Impact Analysis In Susquehanna River Basin – Towanda & Schrader Creek Watersheds    [PaEN]

— FracTracker Alliance: Lycoming Creek Watershed Oil & Gas Drilling Impact Analysis In Lycoming County    [PaEN]

— PJM’s Preliminary Review Of Christmas Storm Electric Generation Failures Shows Natural Gas Units Failed To Provide Power At Over Triple The Rate Of Other Generation  [PaEN]

PUC Alerts Consumers Utility Natural Gas Costs Will Be Going Up By As Much As 128%, Electric Costs Will Be Going Up By As Much As 34%; Both Driven By Cost Of Natural Gas On World Markets  [PaEN]

PA PUC: Cost Of Natural Gas Provided By Major Utilities In PA Increased As Much As 154% Over Last Year  [PaEN]

Ohio River Valley Institute: 6% Population Loss, 3.3% Job Loss In PA’s ‘Natural Gas’ Counties Show Misplaced Faith In Economic Benefits Of Oil & Gas [PaEN]

Related Article This Week

— DEP 2021 Oil & Gas Program Annual Report Shows Conventional Oil & Gas Operators Received A Record 610 Notices Of Violation For Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them  [PaEN] 

[Posted: January 17, 2023]  PA Environment Digest | Source

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More:

Analysis: Home Utility Price Spikes in 2021-2022
January 27, 2023
– Natural gas therms went up 360-percent over the 24 month period, while kilowatt hours (kWh) went up 162-percent over the 24 month period.

Refusal to release inaugural donors exposes gap in Pennsylvania law
January 23, 2023
– HARRISBURG — The refusal thus far of Gov. Josh Shapiro to disclose who paid for his glitzy inaugural bash has exposed the gap in state law that lets governors in Pennsylvania escape the kind of transparency that is sometimes required elsewhere. That raises serious concerns about conflicts of interest, said Aaron McKean, a lawyer for the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center, a non-profit good government group. “We’re going to follow all of the laws required with reporting and disclosure and that’s the approach we’re going to take,” Shapiro said. No law requires such disclosure. But not disclosing who paid for it sets Shapiro apart from predecessors in Pennsylvania.

Pa. Gov. Josh Shapiro loosens his predecessor’s notoriously strict gift ban for top officials
January 23, 2023
– The new governor is breaking with precedent set by Wolf and Corbett by declining to disclose the private donors who funded his inaugural festivities. Corbett accepted tickets to big sporting events as well as a yacht trip from individuals with policy priorities in front of the state government. Michael Pollack, executive director of good-government group March on Harrisburg, has protested and prodded lawmakers over the years to tighten state ethics rules. He said he hopes Shapiro uses his term to engage the General Assembly on broader changes to ethics guidelines such as implementing campaign finance restrictions and tightening rules for state employees seeking private employment after public service.

Better Path Coalition Outlines Environmental/Climate Priorities for Shapiro Administration 
January 10, 2023
– The letter urges Shapiro to take immediate steps toward a ban on fracking by reinstating the ban on drilling and fracking in Dimock that was quietly lifted by the DEP the same day he announced Coterra’s no-contestno contest plea in the grand jury case. Other recommendations include addressing well abandonment, banning all road spreading of drilling waste, protecting Pennsylvanians from toxic, radioactive oil & gas waste, addressing potentially catastrophic methane leaks from underground storage facilities, and reforming state agencies. The Coalition also urges Shapiro to reject hydrogen hubs and carbon capture schemes being proposed in Pennsylvania. The unproven, often cost-prohibitive solutions are nothing more than attempts by the fossil fuel industry to continue doing business as usual behind a thin, greenwashed veil. Taken together, the solutions represent the next generation of fossil fuel development in Pennsylvania and guarantee continued drilling and fracking.

How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’
January 17, 2023
– Conservative groups helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, documents show. They are taking their campaign to other states. Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group withties to the gas industry,helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, another anonymously funded group, assisted in the effort. At the last minute, Republicans tacked on unrelated amendments aimed at assisting the fossil fuel industry, including another amendment that would make it easier to drill for oil and gas in state parks. By the time the bill reached DeWine’s desk, it was “stuffed” like a chicken.

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