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.



Crowd packs fire hall to vent about gas drilling effects

On Thursday, the last of four town hall meetings hosted by state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, at the beginning of the new legislative session brought out the most constituents. It also was one of the more vocal groups he encountered. Everett, who represents the 84th Legislative District, has hosted town hall meetings in Antes Fort, Picture Rocks and Montoursville in the past two weeks.



Natural gas prices fall

The price of natural gas is going down, and so is the amount of it that most of us are using. Just in time for the return of winter, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. announced that effective today the price of natural gas is dropping 6.7 percent to $8.26 per thousand cubic feet. The decrease will lower the monthly bill of a typical customer - one who uses 90,000 cubic feet of gas a year - from $76.61 to $71.45 a month.



Pa. moves to limit air emissions from gas industry

Pennsylvania's natural gas compressor stations will have to meet tighter air pollution standards under a mandate from the state environmental agency. The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday its revised permit for compressor stations requires a 75- to 93-percent reduction in air emissions for the largest, most common types of engines used to power the facilities, which pressurize natural gas taken from the Marcellus Shale formation for movement along pipelines.



State, private data say gas industry creates fraction of state's air pollution

The deep-shale gas industry produced a small fraction of the state's air pollution in 2011, according to newly released state data and private research. Shale gas drilling and processing released less than 10 percent - and for some substances less than a fraction of a percent - of some of the most common air pollutants that came from the state's stationary polluters in 2011, according to an inventory the Department of Environmental Protection tallied. That includes such polluters as coal power plants and steel mills, but not cars and trucks.



Some 'fore,' some against drilling in Pulaski Twp.

Gas industry workers in Pulaski Township in Lawrence County not only drill holes, they're trying to make holes in one. Industry workers have begun frequenting the picturesque, 18-hole Rolling Hills Golf Course on Route 208 in Pulaski, said owner and local resident Richard Kinkela.



NATURAL GAS: The Constitution Pipeline: an answer to New England's price woes or a shale bonanza in the making?

The Constitution Pipeline is expected to jolt forward this spring when a joint venture between Williams Partners LP and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. files with federal regulators for route approval to build from Pennsylvania across New York to deliver natural gas to New England's high-demand market. The $700 million venture, called Constitution Pipeline Co., is seeking to overcome concentrated opposition from environmental groups in New York to bring badly needed gas to New England, which has long dealt with higher power prices because of its relative isolation from domestic energy supplies.



Game Commission OKs gas lease in Washington Co., amends lease in Greene

The state Game Commission said Wednesday it approved an oil and gas agreement with Chesapeake Appalachia for 1,200 acres of land comprising State Game Land 232 in Donegal and Independence townships in Washington County. The commission also announced an amended lease agreement with Chevron for state game lands in Greene County.



Game commission OKs drilling underneath game lands near school

The Pennsylvania Game Commission board Tuesday approved a Texas company's bid to extract oil and natural gas from state game lands in Lawrence County two days after it received a petition bearing nearly 5,000 signatures opposing the move. "The least they should have done is put a 'wait' on this vote," said Volant resident Carrie Hahn, who, along with Suzanne Bobosky-Matteo, has circulated the petition that was submitted to the commission Sunday at its meeting in Harrisburg.



DEP pulls permit, to allow comment

The state Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment permit that would have allowed a New Jersey company to spread chemically contaminated salts on roadways, sidewalks and fields statewide. The DEP pulled the permit, issued in August to Integrated Water Technologies Inc., after admitting the required public notice about the permit did not accurately describe the permitted activity and the department hadn't fully considered the impact on the environment.