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Archive for “Energy Policy” news
A team of toxicologists at the University of Pennsylvania are mounting a major study on the health effects of fracking, the controversial method of removing natural gas from deep within the earth.The university’s Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology has organized a working group with researchers at other top universities includingColumbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina to investigate and analyze reports of nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties and other ills from people who live near natural gas drilling sites, compressor stations or wastewater pits.“There is an enormous amount of rhetoric on both sides,” said Trevor M. Penning, head of the Penn toxicology
Mere hours after announcing that BP would pay a $4.5 billion settlement to the US Government over the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster, two former employees have been charge with manslaughter, and a third with making false statements to federal investigators. Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, BP well site leaders in the Gulf at the time, are currently charged with negligence for not performing proper safety tests before the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers. David Rainey, former vice president of BP's Gulf of Mexico exploration, will face false statement charges with obstruction of Congress tacked on for good
My wife and I sat down Tuesday night with a bottle of wine, a bowl of popcorn and a healthy dose of trepidation to watch the third debate of the 2012 presidential campaign. We didn't expect to hear anything new from the candidates, and for the most part we didn't—although we were happy to see someone in the Obama camp instructed the President on how to speak when your words are being timed.
Psst: Don’t tell anybody, but the worst-kept secret in Pennsylvania is that the natural gas industry—the only economic salvation our dying state had—is leaving, and being replaced by job loss, budget holes and despair. Instead of experiencing a booming economy rooted in the rebirth of American manufacturing, Pennsylvania is now witness to yet another long exodus of our best and brightest. And the Commonwealth’s march toward permanent mediocrity is accelerating.
Texas Pipeline Firm to Buy Sunoco. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. is finalizing negotiations to acquire Sunoco for $5.3 billion. The Dallas-based pipeline firm will drop a combination of cash and stock to purchase Sunoco and its 4,900 retail outlets. The new owners intend to carry out the plan to get out of the oil refining business. [Inquirer]Penn State's New Coach in Philly. Bill O'Brien—the new head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football program—will be in Philadelphia today for the first part of his 18-stop, meet-and-greet bus tour. [Sports Illustrated]Mayor's Aide Gets Cryptic With Tweet. Mark McDonald—Mayor Nutter's
Unlike our Euro brethren, who take off all of August to refresh themselves after their grueling 25-hour work weeks, those in the U.S. can’t catch a break. Sure, we have Arbor Day and Wildflower Week, but we need to celebrate more. So it’s only appropriate to propose a holiday to which we can all relate, one that stays with us for more than just a day. I propose that we start National Colonic Month.No, not the colonic used to flush the body of evil red meat. That would be pointless since, according to a new study, just looking at a hamburger increases the likelihood of death by 900 percent.
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series on how retooled refineries can save jobs and revitalize manufacturing. See Chris Freind's "We Can Save Philadelphia’s Sunoco Refinery Jobs," here.“You are right … finding middle-class wages here in Pennsylvania is challenging if not impossible. The blood, sweat and tears of years planning and building our dream home only to sell it in a bad housing market is like adding salt to the wound.”This heartbreaking message was sent by a distraught wife of a 19-year Sunoco refinery worker, as that company’s two refineries (Philadelphia and Marcus Hook) are slated for closing, as is the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer, Delaware County, if no buyers are found. Making the sin mortal, there are reports that the ConocoPhillips plant might be dismantled, shipped overseas, and resurrected in a foreign—potentially adversarial—country. But this is nothing new, as America’s abandonment of its manufacturing base has often included shipping entire facilities overseas for the benefit of our competitors.
The deceased—successful businessman, political activist, philanthropist, the ultimate family man—had been incredibly beloved. Friends and colleagues from far and wide came to pay their respects to one who had touched their lives. Predictably, the line at the viewing was long that night—more than two hours. But hundreds dutifully stood, passing the time as best they could under the circumstances. Millionaire CEOs conversed with blue-collar workers; reunited grade-school friends embraced.
For the tens of thousands whose livelihoods depend on the Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips oil refineries in Philadelphia, Marcus Hook and Trainer, the Grinch arrived early this Christmas, announcing that all three facilities would be closing in the near future.But unlike the Grinch, who delighted in causing misery for the sake of misery, the oil companies seemed to have no choice. Their hand was forced by a combination of market forces that saw them losing millions every single day.