energy

Energy’s Big Shift

A decade ago, as Consol Energy’s 150th anniversary drew near, top executives began to take stock in where the company stood as a leading producer of coal and where that path would take it. Coal was in what CEO Nicholas DeIuliis called a “supercycle.” It was the workhorse of the national power grid and less …

Energy’s Big Shift Read More »

Regional Energy Use

In a region where coal was once king, nearly half of the electricity consumed today is generated from non-carbon sources. Yet, wind, solar and other renewable sources claim a tiny fraction of the local energy portfolio. An estimated 49 percent of the electricity consumed locally was from carbon-free sources in 2014, for example. Most was …

Regional Energy Use Read More »

Boom and Bust

All over rural pennsylvania, motel parking lots, which just a couple of years ago were teeming with lumbering pickup trucks with out-of-state plates, are nearly empty. So are the hastily constructed “man camps” that not so long ago provided temporary shelter for roughnecks and roustabouts. So are the breakfast joints where they used to eat. …

Boom and Bust Read More »

The New Marcellus Debate

It has become the new flash point in the battle over the development of the Marcellus, with advocates for development facing off against opponents, not in remote fields in rural Pennsylvania, but all over the region. And it’s not just about drilling anymore. The new battle over the Marcellus is being fought over hundreds of …

The New Marcellus Debate Read More »

Marcellus Shale: A Tricky Situation

For years, it’s been a common rallying cry among activists that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has coddled its burgeoning natural gas industry at the expense of other state priorities. Perhaps nothing, they contend, has been more emblematic of that cozy relationship than the fact that Pennsylvania is the only active drilling state in the union …

Marcellus Shale: A Tricky Situation Read More »

AC / DC

Three University of Pittsburgh professors have seen the future in electrical innovation, and it begins in Homewood. They’re talking about an electrical revolution, and it’s fitting that Pittsburgh and one of its poorest neighborhoods could play a large role. In the late 1880s, Pittsburgh’s most famous Homewood resident, George Westinghouse, prevailed in what has since …

AC / DC Read More »

The Battle for Cleaner Energy

For two days this past summer, the streets around the William S. Moorhead Federal Building, downtown, were ringed with cops and jammed with largely orderly protestors, some in camouflage, others in tie-dyed T-shirts. They were drawn, as they had been at other cities around the country, to make their voices heard on the U.S. Environmental …

The Battle for Cleaner Energy Read More »

The Export Dilemma

As the Shale-driven production of natural gas has expanded in recent years, so too has the demand from much of the industry to unleash that resource on the world market. And that chorus of voices calling for the United States to use gas from fields like the Marcellus to tap into the world market has …

The Export Dilemma Read More »

Does This Change Everything?

It’s been nearly six months since the state Supreme Court rocked Pennsylvania by striking down key portions of Act 13, Gov. Corbett’s signature legislation on Marcellus Shale drilling. But even now, the full impact of the decision—and what it bodes for the future of the drilling industry in the state—remains unclear. In fact, say legal …

Does This Change Everything? Read More »

Shale Gas & the Environment

For years the well pads, truck traffic and logos of energy companies large and small multiplied across counties like Washington and Greene as southwestern Pennsylvania became a poster child for the rush to extract natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale. It was in such a climate that the region recently assumed a new identity …

Shale Gas & the Environment Read More »

Still Changing at 150

On April 19, 1864, America was preoccupied by several rather sizable events, including the Civil War and the recent emancipation of slaves. So citizens could be excused if they paid scant attention to the festivities that day in Cumberland, Md., where an entity called Consolidation Coal Company launched its operations by selling 1,000 shares of …

Still Changing at 150 Read More »

The Royalty Rub

When Mary Jane Foelster and her husband, Richard, retired five years ago and left Philadelphia for a secluded 50-acre tract of land in Bradford County, they never figured they’d get rich. In fact, until they were about to close on the property, they didn’t even know that the previous owners had signed a lease with …

The Royalty Rub Read More »

Red Flags Rising

It’s been more than a year since Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, stepped to the lectern on a sweltering summer day in Houston and issued a stern warning to a gathering of energy executives. She acknowledged the potential advantages of the unconventional shale gas boom—from increasing the nation’s energy …

Red Flags Rising Read More »

Finding Common Ground

The conversations began quietly two years ago in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Could natural gas be harvested from shale without writing a new chapter in the legacy of tainted air and water that had been the price of nearly a century of steel making and mining in the region? And was there an appetite among energy …

Finding Common Ground Read More »

Gauging the Second Term

For months last year, as the campaign for the White House shifted into high gear, opponents of President Obama tried to paint his first-term administration as hostile to the development of domestic fossil fuels, including the vast natural gas resources contained in the Marcellus and Utica shales, as well as other unconventional shale plays across …

Gauging the Second Term Read More »

The Marcellus Shale Dilemma

A blistering July—the hottest on record—vaporized heat records in thousands of communities across the country. A historic and prolonged drought settled across a vast swath of the southern and central United States, devastating corn crops and threatening to send the cost of everything that depends on it—from baby food to burgers to the ethanol we …

The Marcellus Shale Dilemma Read More »

An Industrial Renaissance

When the reserves of Marcellus Shale gas in the tri-state area proved vast—84 trillion cubic feet by one estimate—it was no surprise when the region became the epicenter of a thriving new industry. What may have been unexpected was the extent to which the Marcellus boom would invigorate the economy generally. The availability of cheap, …

An Industrial Renaissance Read More »

The Problem of Price

From the moment the rush began to develop the vast untapped resources of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, economists and industry analysts warned that the massive explosion of cash that was pouring into the state—and in many cases right back out of it—would ebb and flow. There would be times of expansion, when drillers …

The Problem of Price Read More »

Show Me the Money

It was hailed as a game changer. Almost immediately after the first Marcellus Shale natural gas well was spudded in a rocky hilltop in Washington County, unleashing for the first time a vast cache of domestically produced energy, the discovery was hailed as the harbinger of a revolution in energy production that would pump upwards …

Show Me the Money Read More »

The Utica Shale

A century and a half ago, a desperate, down-on-his-luck former railroad man named Edwin Drake wandered into a remote hollow in northwestern Pennsylvania and stuck a drill a few dozen yards down into the rocky soil. After a few false starts, Drake and his men struck a cache of crude oil that, while small by …

The Utica Shale Read More »

Road Trip

In May, my wife, Cindy, and I became the first Americans to drive from coast-to-coast in a natural-gas-powered vehicle. The idea first occurred to me last fall after retiring from EQT. I had the time, and the project intrigued me. First, I’m a believer in energy independence for America. We import more than 65 percent of …

Road Trip Read More »

A Natural-Gas Ponzi Scheme?

It was, on the surface, a devastating indictment: a report in The New York Times, the nation’s leading newspaper, alleging that the natural gas industry—an eclectic and fiercely competitive collection of players that included in its ranks everyone from cowboy drillers to staid overseas nationals like StatOil Hydro—may have joined together in a secret cabal …

A Natural-Gas Ponzi Scheme? Read More »

Top