Wed July 16, 2014

Climage change with EPA's Judith Enck: New York NOW

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released plans it argues will lower the nation's collective carbon footprint through the Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The plan aims to cap the C02 emission from coal-fired power plants, identified as the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA Region 2 (including New York and New Jersey) Administrator, Judith Enck sits down with the Innovation Trail's Jenna Flanagan to discuss the Greenhouse Gas Initiative, acid rain in the Adirondacks and the beginning stages of the clean-up of the Hudson River.  

The segment with Judith Enck begins at 13.10.


Tue July 15, 2014

Fracking and groundwater contamination? It's complicated.

John Fair of the Woodlands, Connoquenessing Township, in front of a well he says went bad after drilling began three years ago.
Credit Reid Frazier and The Allegheny Front

Every Monday, Lee Dreyer wheels out big cardboard boxes from an old Sunday school classroom into the parking lot of his church. Dreyer is pastor of the White Oak Springs Presbyterian church, in Renfrew, Pa. It’s located on a country road about an hour north of Pittsburgh.

People pull up in cars and trucks, and load the boxes in the back.

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Tue July 1, 2014

Court of Appeals decision could prompt end of state moratorium

Emma Jacobs/WXXI

In a 5-to-2 ruling, New York’s highest court has upheld the right of local governments to ban hydrofracking within their borders. The decision comes after a nearly three-year court battle over bans passed in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. And as Matt Richmond reports, fracking opponents hope to now spread the bans to towns that were waiting for the court’s final ruling.

The highly anticipated decision from the Court of Appeals spread like wildfire Monday through groups on both sides of the fracking debate. Local anti-fracking activists like Otsego 2000 and the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition hailed the ruling for offering protection to communities in New York. Others, like Environmental Advocates of New York and the Natural Resources Defense Council, cheered the decision as a rare example of local concerns winning out over a powerful industry.

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Mon June 30, 2014
Home Rule

Court of Appeals rules towns can ban fracking within their borders

The Court of Appeals has decided that town governments in New York can prohibit hydrofracking within their borders, whether or not the state eventually starts issuing permits. As Matt Richmond reports, the decision ends a nearly three-year-long court fight.

The two cases involved a natural gas producer, originally Anschutz Exploration before Norse Energy took over, and a Cooperstown-area landowner named Jennifer Huntington, challenging drilling bans passed by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

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Fri June 27, 2014
Wind Energy

Offshore wind energy faces setbacks in Great Lakes region

Demonstration wind turbine on waterfront in Cleveland, Ohio
Julie Grant/The Allegheny Front

The United States is not yet generating a watt of energy from commercial offshore wind. A couple of years ago, it looked like the Great Lakes might lead the nation. Pennsylvania was among a handful of states working with federal agencies to speed up the process.  As recently as a couple of months ago, construction of a wind farm in Lake Erie, off the Ohio shoreline near Cleveland, looked promising. But now some are sounding the death knell for any wind development in the Great Lakes.

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