UGI Investing $4.4M In Lancaster County This Year To Replace And Extend Gas Lines

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UGI Utilities will spend $4.4 million this year strengthening and extending its gas-line network in Lancaster County, the firm said Thursday.

That sum consists of $1.3 million to replace old gas mains, generally at least 50 years old, and $3.1 million to lengthen lines to serve new customers.

 

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/ugi-investing-m-in-lancaster-county-this-year-to-replace/article_7c448380-c63f-11e3-aa32-001a4bcf6878.html

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Pennsylvania Tax Burden Ranks 10th Nationally

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvanians’ state and local tax burden reached its lowest point in more than a decade in 2011, but it still climbed to rank as the nation’s 10th most onerous, up two spots from the year before, an analysis released this week shows.

The Washington-based Tax Foundation said Pennsylvanians shelled out $4,374 per capita in state and local taxes in 2011, or 10.3 percent of their per-capita income of $42,268. About 10.5 percent of income went toward state and local taxes in 2010, the foundation said.

“This trend was largely driven by the growth of income,” said Tax Foundation economist Liz Malm, explaining the slight decline.

About 27 percent of Pennsylvanians’ tax money went to other states. Aside from sales, excise, income, corporate and other taxes paid in other states, the Tax Foundation factors what it calls tax exporting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5882443-74/tax-state-taxes#ixzz2y3z5waOg
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Oil Price Above $100 On US Heating Fuel Demand

The price of oil extended gains above $100 a barrel Monday as the cold weather in the United States increased demand for heating fuels and solid Chinese credit numbers eased concerns over the world’s number 2 economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 49 cents to $100.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell 5 cents to close at $100.30.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140217/oil-price-above-100-on-us-heating-fuel-demand

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January Could End Up As One Of The Coldest Months In Recent Memory

The mercury hasn’t hit bottom yet.

January ranks as one of the most bitingly cold months Western Pennsylvanians can remember, though certainly not a record. A cold snap early in the month made the temperature plummet to 9 below zero near Pittsburgh International Airport with a wind chill that felt like 30 below.

State College-based AccuWeather predicts a low of 10 below zero on Tuesday as part of the latest bone-chilling cold spell, one that will extend through at least Jan. 31.

“We’ve been selling a lot of winter tires. People who have decided to try and wait to see how the winter goes, I think finally pulled the trigger,” said Nick Lenhart, manager of Lenhart’s Service Center in North Huntingdon. “They realized it’s not just going to be a one and done.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5469509-74/cold-january-weather#ixzz2rKwZi8jZ
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Proposed Power Plant On Lancaster County-Maryland Line Would Mean New Gas Pipeline And Water Line In Solanco

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A proposed $675 million natural gas power plant on the Lancaster County-Maryland line would mean a new 9-mile gas pipeline and a 7-mile water line through southern Lancaster County.

Williams, the Tulsa-based company that would build the $80 million 20-inch Rock Springs gas line in Drumore and Fulton townships,  is holding a public workshop to explain the project and receive feedback from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Solanco High School in Quarryville.

There will be detailed aerial maps of the proposed pipeline’s route.

There should be plenty of interest.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/926945_Proposed-power-plant-on-Lancaster-County-Maryland-line-would-mean-new-gas-pipeline-and-water-line-in-Solanco.html#ixzz2mS0QQABj

Sunoco To Pipe Shale Gas Through Clay, West Cocalico Townships

English: Sunoco Logo

English: Sunoco Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A decommissioned underground pipeline that once carried gasoline across the state and through Lancaster County could see new life from the Marcellus shale gas boom.

Representatives of Sunoco Inc., of Philadelphia, have recently been in West Cocalico and Clay townships doing site surveys and scouting locations for a pumping station needed as part of a statewide retrofit of the pipeline so that it can transport natural gas to a facility in Delaware.

“Mariner East 1 is a project to transport natural gas liquids (NGLs), also called liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) from the Marcellus and Utica shales in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Pennsylvania/Delaware border,” Sunoco representative Jeff Shields wrote in an email Nov. 20.

The Mariner East 1 project would stretch from a Sunoco facility just outside Houston, Pa., in Chartiers Township, Washington County, to its transportation hub in Marcus Hook, Delaware County, or a distance of about 300 miles.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/921971_Sunoco-to-pipe-shale-gas-through-Clay–West-Cocalico.html#ixzz2lJHodFsv

Many Weapons In ‘War On Coal’ Deployed Long Before Obama Took Office

The coal industry can be excused for thinking there’s a massive, organized, palm-rubbing effort to make its life difficult — the war on coal, in short.

It’s a “war” that’s been decades in the making, with few regulations actually originating with the Obama administration.  Yet the current swarm of actions also underscores the extent to which the White House can influence which rules get written, enforced or buried by delays and litigation.

“It’s not a war on coal for warring on coal’s sake,” said David Spence, associate professor of law, politics and regulation at the University of Texas.

Rather, it’s kind of a perfect storm of actions that have been simmering for a long time.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/many-weapons-in-war-on-coal-deployed-long-before-obama-took-office-698992/#ixzz2blfnoFXX

Corbett: Gas-Line Project Fuels Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SWIFTWATER — Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday’s announcement to extend the Route 6/11 Corridor Natural Gas Line is about creating and attracting jobs but, more important, he said it’s about retaining jobs already in Pennsylvania.

Corbett visited the campus of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi in Monroe County, to announce the $5 million extension project, made possible in part through the recent release of a $5 million Economic Growth Initiative grant.

While Corbett said the project is expected to boost job creation and retention in the Northeast Pennsylvania region, he said by lowering utility costs to large employers such as the vaccine maker the 2,000 jobs at the Swiftwater facility — plus 500 contractor positions — are likely to stay.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/678739/Corbett:-Gas-line-project-fuels-jobs

Pittsburgh-Area Hotels Find Niche In Oil, Gas Workers

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To endear a hotel to the oil and gas crowd, give them a place to eat and sleep at all hours of the day, a place to wash their boots, a warm place to smoke in the winter and a cold beer once in a while.

So goes the formula developed by Tejas Gosai, president of the Washington, Pa.-based business Shale Hotel Inc.  The company is managing two hotels geared toward oil and gas workers, building two others and preparing to turn the Monroeville Holiday Inn into an industry destination for workers summoned here by the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas deposit underlying much of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Gosai represents a group of four doctors, among them his father, who bought the 187-room Monroeville hotel in June.  His goal is to replicate there what he has helped to do in Bentleyville — attract at least half of the guests from oil and gas fields.

The Gosais have been in the hotel business for a dozen years.  Kam Gosai, a practicing physician in Washington County, co-owns the Holiday Inn Express and the Best Western Garden Inn in Bentleyville.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pittsburgh-area-hotels-find-niche-in-oil-gas-workers-694646/#ixzz2YT5pEbAE

Slice Of Shale Pie Feeds Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soon the playground at Gring’s Mill Recreation Area will be out of the woods, literally and figuratively.

Credit goes to an issue not likely to hit Berks County directly: drilling for natural gas.

County officials recently were told they could expect a check any day for $345,000 from the impact fees gas producers pay the state. That’s on top of the $349,068 they received last year.  The money must be spent for parks and recreation projects.

The money enables the county to bump up the timetable for projects identified in the parks department’s five-year plan, and avoid spending taxpayer money on them, county Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=486931

UGI Seeks To Increase Rates 13.5% By Year’s End

After dropping steadily for the past five years, natural gas prices have finally reached the point where it is no longer profitable for companies to produce the abundant clean-burning fuel.

Natural gas prices for about 90,000 Berks County users started tumbling Dec. 1, 2008, when UGI requested a 16 percent decrease.

But now the low prices, an unusually cold winter and an improving economy have prompted UGI Utilities Gas Division to request a 13.5 percent rate hike.  The requested hike comes in two parts: increases of about 7.2 percent June 1 and about 5.9 percent Dec. 1.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477949

South Side Site Becoming Pittsburgh’s Second Compressed Natural Gas Station

English: Symbol used for vehicles powered by c...

English: Symbol used for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former Exxon station in Station Square is becoming the city’s second compressed natural gas station with the help of state funding announced this week.

The station, located near the T station at the edge of the Smithfield Street Bridge, is currently under construction.  It will be owned by Desdemona Holdings LP and operate under the American Natural Retail brand.

Desdemona Holdings received a $372,300 grant and $248,200 loan to help complete the project.  Desdemona is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cleopatra Resources LLC, a New York-based energy company with local offices near Homestead.

A timetable for completion was not given.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/south-side-site-becoming-citys-second-cng-station-687147/#ixzz2T04Iwgfq

Gas Industry In Berks: What’s In The Pipeline

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Re...

Counties constituting the Endless Mountains Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DUSHORE – Now that the major surgery that took place last year in the beautiful northern tier of Pennsylvania is complete, Frank Carr Jr. can tell Berks Countians what it is like to have an interstate natural gas pipeline implanted in your land.

You get paid. You see your land temporarily torn up.  You have the right to object.

Ultimately, though, you may have no choice.

“To me, it just doesn’t seem right that they can come in and tell you where they are going,” said Carr, who co-owns a 500-acre dairy farm in Bradford County.  “But I also know they have got to get the gas to market, and it is all a part of that.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=467029

Study: Poor Health Habits Prevalent In Northeast Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania

Counties constituting Northeastern Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A project aimed at establishing a benchmark of regional residents’ health reinforced something already known — Northeastern Pennsylvania residents, generally speaking, are not very healthy.

The study, conducted by the Scranton-based Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, was done so the effects of the Marcellus Shale industry on the region’s health can be gauged in the future.

“We wanted to create a baseline on the health of the community to use as a benchmark against future studies to see what effects, if any, and to what extent the industry will have had on the region’s health,” said Bob Durkin, president of the Cancer Institute.

Dr. Samuel Lesko, principal investigator for the survey, said a variety of issues related to “fracking” and other processes used to produce natural gas have contributed to community concerns about potential adverse health outcomes.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/405891/Study:-Poor-health-habits-prevalent-in-region

Pennsylvania Pushes Drillers To Frack With Coal Mine Water

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each day, 300 million gallons of polluted mine water enters Pennsylvania streams and rivers, turning many of them into dead zones unable to support aquatic life. At the same time, drilling companies use up to 5 million gallons of fresh water for every natural-gas well they frack.

State environmental officials and coal region lawmakers are hoping that the state’s newest extractive industry can help clean up a giant mess left by the last one. They are encouraging drillers to use tainted coal mine water to hydraulically fracture gas wells in the Marcellus Shale formation, with the twin goals of diverting pollution from streams and rivers that now run orange with mine drainage and reducing the drillers’ reliance on fresh sources of water.

Drainage from abandoned mines is one of the state’s worst environmental headaches, impairing 5,500 miles of waterways.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=461598

PA Marcellus Topped 2 Trillion Cubic Feet Of Gas In 2012

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s Marcellus and other shale wells produced more than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012, continuing a trend of production growth despite fewer drilling rigs in the field.

New production data reported by natural gas drilling companies and released by the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday showed that 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas flowed from unconventional wells in the state during the second half of 2012.

The wells produced an average of 6.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day between July and December, or enough to fulfill about 9 percent of the nation’s daily natural gas demand.  The U.S. consumed about 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/pa-marcellus-topped-2-trillion-cubic-feet-of-gas-in-2012-1.1447325

Geisinger Study To Examine Health Effects Of Gas Drilling

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS re...

English: Cropped portion of image from USGS report showing extent of Marcellus Formation shale (in gray shading). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DANVILLE – A Pennsylvania health company said it has gotten a $1 million grant to study possible health impacts of natural gas drilling on the Marcellus Shale.

Geisinger Health System said Monday that the Degenstein Foundation had awarded the money to help underwrite what it called a “large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment” of the drilling.

Most of the money will be used for data-gathering, and some will go toward developing studies of the data. Officials said they expect other funders to come forward.

The study is to look at detailed health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near wells and other facilities that are producing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation thousands of feet underground.

Read more:  http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/568967/Geisinger-study-to-examine-health-effects-of-gas-drilling.html?nav=742

Liquefied Gas Exports Would Boost Growth

LNG is a commonly used acronym for liquefied natural gas, essentially natural gas that is put into liquid form, often for the purpose of transportation.

For international trade, LNG is sent in insulated tanker ships using refrigeration that keeps the liquefied natural gas at a chilly -260 degrees Fahrenheit.  Global shipments travel to receiving terminals on a daily basis where pipelines are then used to provide this clean-burning energy source to homes, schools, businesses and government buildings.  More receiving terminals are being built around the world each year.

In the U.S. there is growing debate over LNG exports, some of which could come from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

The Energy Information Administration estimates that in just three years natural gas supply could exceed demand, allowing the U.S. to be a net exporter of LNG.  Bipartisan support for such exports has grown to include local and national politicians; most recently, more than 100 members of the House of Representatives signed onto a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu that asked the Obama administration for advance LNG exports without delay.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/opinion/liquefied-gas-exports-would-boost-growth-674067/#ixzz2KQCyPyV4

West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller Won’t Seek Re-Election To U.S. Senate

Official photograph of Jay Rockefeller, U.S. S...

Official photograph of Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who came to West Virginia as a young man from one of the world’s richest families to work on antipoverty programs and remained in the state to build a political legacy, announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term.

The 75-year-old Democrat’s decision, coming at a time when his popularity in a conservative state had been waning for sparring with the powerful mining industry and supporting President Barack Obama, told The Associated Press ahead of his formal announcement that it was time to retire.

After about three decades in elective office, it was time to “bring more balance to my life after a career that has been so obsessively dominated by politics and public policy and campaigns,” he said.  “I’ve gotten way out of whack in terms of the time I should spend with my wife and my children and my grandchildren.”

Mr. Rockefeller’s retirement was widely expected and puts the seat held by Democrats since 1958 in jeopardy for the party.  Within weeks of November’s elections, Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito vowed to run for the Senate seat in 2014, even if it meant going up against Mr. Rockefeller and his storied name.  Other Republicans also have been eyeing the seat in recent weeks.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-national/west-virginias-jay-rockefeller-wont-seek-re-election-to-us-senate-669999/#ixzz2HgtUoBYB

Natural Gas Boom Fuels U.S. Office Market

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bloomberg — Leasing demand from natural-gas and other energy companies is helping to bolster the U.S. office market and drive growth in cities such as Pittsburgh, where rents are at their highest in more than a decade.

Greater Pittsburgh, along with Houston and other cities with concentrations of energy-related workers, is outpacing national growth in rents and occupancy, according to a report today from Reis Inc., which showed U.S. office landlords had net gains in leased space for a second year in 2012, following three years of declines.  Tenants in energy, along with technology, helped push the national vacancy rate to a three-year low.

In the fourth quarter, greater Pittsburgh office rents after landlord concessions climbed 1 percent from the previous three months, compared with 0.8 percent for the U.S., while the area’s vacancy rate held at 15.5 percent, below the national average of 17.1 percent, New York-based Reis said. Pittsburgh tenants paid an average of $17.68 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the highest since 2000, ranking it 12th out of 79 markets for growth.  In Houston, effective rents rose 1.7 percent, the fifth-most nationwide.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-energy-office-market-20130107,0,3658617.story