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December 05, 2016
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Gas at a glance

February 17
Pipeline explosion kills five in Allentown

A 16-year-old girl and four-month-old boy were among five people who died as a result of a natural gas pipeline explosion in Allentown, PA. The February 16 blast leveled a pair of row houses and set fire to a block of homes. Governor Tom Corbett visited the site and said the state needs to address its aging gas, water and sewer lines. The following day, a gas pipeline explosion occurred in Columbiana County, OH. Both blasts come in the wake of the catastrophic natural gas pipeline explosion and fire that occurred in San Bruno, CA on September 9, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes.

Governor Corbett tabs 36-year-old for new energy post

PA Governor Tom Corbett has appointed Patrick Henderson to the newly created post of energy executive. As reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The energy executive will be ‘the person who has the ear of the governor on energy policy,’ said Corbett’s spokesman, Kevin Harley, ‘so that there’s one voice on energy issues.’” He will handle issues involving all types of energy, but said that those surrounding Marcellus Shale natural gas “will dominate the conversation.” Henderson spent 14 years as an aide to state Sen. Mary Jo White, R-Venango, serving as director of the environmental resources and energy committee she has chaired for 11 years. Henderson initially served an internship with then-candidate Mary Jo White, who also let him live in her home during her first campaign, then made him a legislative aide when she was elected. “He’s intensely loyal and very thorough,” said White. Regarding Henderson’s appointment, Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said: “He’s someone who is reliable and trusted by many folks.” Jan Jarrett, president of the advocacy group PennFuture, said, “His views tended to be very industry friendly.”

PA General Energy fined $28,960 for illegal surfactant discharge