Trout Unlimited Testing for Water Quality in PA's Marcellus Region

Trout Unlimited (TU) is one of several organizations that are actively monitoring water quality in Pennsylvania's rivers and streams. Currently, TU is collecting data in 99 different watersheds throughout the Commonwealth in an effort to help understand potential impacts of shale gas drilling and related industries on Pennsylvania's waterways.



Natural gas-fueled power plant in Lawrence County gets site approval

A $750 million plant in Lawrence County, powered by Marcellus shale gas, could begin generating electicity by 2016, officials said. LS Power Development LLC received North Beaver supervisors' approval this week to build a 900-megawatt plant along the Mahoning River at the site of a former American Cyanamid Co. explosives manufacturing plant. Construction could begin early next year.



Company adapts for shale gas industry

A local hospitality company has formed a new division to further its involvement in the shale gas industry.



Webinar to highlight best shale gas extraction conservation practices

The best conservation practices for shale-gas extraction will be the focus of a free, Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21.



Allegheny County reaches $500 million deal for airport drilling

Consol Energy Inc. will pay an estimated $500 million over the next 20 years for the right to drill for shale gas on land surrounding Pittsburgh International Airport.



Senate approves Yaw division order bill

Legislation requiring natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania to standardize all deductions on royalty check payment stubs unanimously passed the state Senate on Tuesday, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23). Sponsored by Yaw, Senate Bill 259 would require companies producing natural gas to show on each royalty check stub, attachment to a payment form, or other remittance advice a detailed itemization of all royalty deductions from royalties paid to a leaseholder.



5 things you need to know about fracking

Fracking is short for "hydraulic fracturing," and the catch-all term used to describe the process of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. The process goes roughly like this: A company drills down more than a mile deep into the shale rock formations. Then comes what is known as "horizontal drilling" - effectively, the drilling turns 90 degrees, so that the well is exposed to more rock than it would be otherwise.



Energy industry develops nontoxic fracking fluids

The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it's not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies. Houston-based energy giant Halliburton Inc. has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well.



More companies turning to alternative fuel to power fleets

Zoresco Equipment Co.'s longtime business has been outfitting trucks for tasks ranging from utility line work to hauling horses. But the Turtle Creek company has put more time in recent years into switching customers' fleet trucks from gasoline-only to "bifuel" vehicles that run on less expensive compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as traditional fuels, or sometimes to natural gas only.



LANTA to study natural-gas buses

The Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority will participate in a state study this year to help determine whether buses powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas would be suitable for the Lehigh Valley's public bus agency. LANTA is pleased with the performance of the five diesel-electric buses it acquired in 2010 and is putting 10 more of the fuel-saving vehicles on the road this year, said Planning Director Owen O'Neil. The agency plans to add nine more hybrids next year, he said, noting the vehicles yield a mileage gain of about 40 percent on average compared with their "regular" diesel-powered siblings.