Oil independence, a goal set by President Nixon in the depth of the 1973 energy embargo, was achieved in the last week of November thanks to a fluke in record keeping as well as an "unprecedented boom in American oil production."
Anti-fracking activists in New York who helped ban fracking and construction of a natural gas pipeline in the Empire State now have to contend with trucks transporting compressed natural gas from fracking operations in Pennsylvania.
The Oneonta Daily Star
Tioga County, Pennsylvania provides lessons of a post-oil-boom economy.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Powersource
With a 32 percent increase in natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, it is no surprise that emissions are increasing as well, particularly sulfur dioxide. However, the increase was dwarfed by decreases from the power sector.
The Allegheny Front
Oil industry representatives have coalesced behind a plan to connect Philadelphia with the Marcellus Shale region with a large new pipeline. A recently completed conceptual plan for the pipeline is intended to build political support.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Unlike Europe where renewable energy is heavily subsidized, very few biogas projects that convert farm waste to energy using anaerobic digesters are being built in the U.S. State incentives are instrumental due to high capital and maintenance costs.
The Wall Street Journal - Business
Two major rail lines provide crude oil shipments to refineries and terminals in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. A surprising number of residents would face evacuation in the event of a fire on the route.
The Marcellus Shale boom has inspired some in Philadelphia to imagine their city as the "next Houston"—if it can attract the businesses and infrastructure to bring oil and gas in for the benefit of a homegrown manufacturing economy.
According to a Quinnipiac University Poll, New Yorkers upstate, downstate, Democrat, and Republican, all supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban fracking—only energy companies and some businesses and property owners expressed dismay.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally made a decision—make it permanent in 2015. Fracking foes won an important battle as the Empire State has massive natural gas reserves in the Marcellus shale play. In the end, health issues trumped economics.
Self-reported respiratory problems and skin irritations were significantly greater for those living near natural gas fracking wells in southwestern Pennsylvania than those living more than two kilometers away, according to a Yale University survey.
A trio of natural gas providers is planning to build a 550-mile pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina. The companies are hoping to secure approval for the project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by 2016.
Pittsburgh Business Times
Housing shortages are news in San Francisco and North Dakota, even if for different reasons. But parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania are facing the tough policy questions from their own, less documented fracking boom.
The Washington Post - Wonkblog
In a huge victory for fracking opponents and a major blow to the shale gas drilling industry, the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest, ruled on June 30 that municipalities can use zoning laws to enact fracking bans or moratoria.
"The drilling industry boom in places like Washington County [Pennsylvania] has squeezed the housing market, especially among those looking for lower-priced apartments and homes," reports Stephanie Ritenbaugh.
The hazards of shipping North Dakotan crude-by-rail have been well documented and are the focus of new DOT regulations due to its volatility, but there's a more positive side to this oil and the trains that deliver it, illustrated in Philadelphia.
NPR Morning Edition
Plentiful natural gas produced from neighboring Pa. makes it easier for New York City buildings to comply with a regulation to convert dirty heating oil burners to use cleaner fuels like natural gas while the state has a six-year fracking moratorium
It's the state transportation version of an hotel tax - increase a fee predominantly paid by outsiders. However, increasing and extending the toll on the West Virginia Turnpike won't be sufficient to meet all of the state's transportation needs.
The Charleston Gazette
The public is increasingly showing support for hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas - and it's reflected at the ballot box as many pro-drilling candidates were elected. In fact, the debate has shifted from banning to what to do with new tax revenue.
If natural gas has a future, the key is to regulate hydraulic fracking in a report by the International Energy Agency. The New York Times recommends that all concerned about the environment read it - and no better place to apply it than New York.
The New York Times - Opinion