The Allegheny Front for the week of

January 31-February 6, 2014

Historian Makes Case for Tougher Fracking Laws in PA

How to regulate fracking only became common cause for debate in recent years, but regulating other types of oil and gas drilling has proved challenging for ages in our region. Carnegie Mellon University professor Joel Tarr has been studying the history of natural gas drilling laws, and says Pennsylvania should create tougher regulations at drilling sites.

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Obama's State of the Union on Energy and Environment

President Obama laid out his plans for energy and environment in the recent State of the Union address.  Climate change and natural gas were both featured prominently in his speech, and in the reactions of Pittsburghers to the president's remarks.

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What Happened to DCNR’s $6 Million Marcellus Monitoring Report?

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.

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Downed Trees from Ice Storm Turned into Energy

This winter's weather hasn't been so kind to trees, especially in the northernmost regions of upstate NewYork where trees were downed in ice storms. But in one county there’s a plan in the works to give the dead trees a new life as biomass fuel.

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NY Environmental Commissioner Says Fracking Delay Will Continue

One day after President Obama touted the hydro fracking of natural gas as a “bridge fuel”, New York's environmental commissioner says it’s “extremely unlikely” that permits for drilling wells will be issued in that state in the next year.

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Farm Bill Cuts Conservation in Chesapeake Bay

UPDATE: 1/31/14 The U.S. House passed the Farm Bill this week, and sent it to the Senate. The almost $100 billion-a-year, compromise bill contains a small cut in food stamps and preserves most crop subsidies.  Environmentalists got one major victory: the bill links conservation compliance with federal crop insurance. However, it also cuts $6 billion for conservation over the next decade.

 

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Dunkard Creek Restoring Itself Faster Than Expected

Dunkard Creek, where a massive fish kill took place in 2009, is recovering more quickly than expected. That's according to a West Virginia fisheries biologist with the Division of Natural Resources. Last summer, the coal company Consol Energy completed a $130 million water treatment plant at the site of the fish kill. Consol paid a fine, but never acknowledged guilt for causing the fish kill.

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News Analysis: What Killed Dunkard Creek?

Most of the aquatic animals that live in a thirty mile stretch of Dunkard Creek died in 2009. The creek runs from Morgantown, West Virginia into Greene County, Pennsylvania. Regulatory investigators spent months trying to figure out what happened.

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