Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Is FERC doing its job when deciding on pipelines?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 21, 2017 4:06 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, July 21, 2017:

Dakota Access, Atlantic Sunrise, Mariner East 2 -- all pipeline projects that have generated fierce opposition where they're being built, including here in Central Pennsylvania.

Opposition to a major project is nothing new whether the concern is the environment, safety, traffic or simply when neighbors cry "not in my backyard."  But the number of pipelines is increasing across the country and Pennsylvania is a prime location for new pipelines with the natural gas upsurge in the Marcellus Shale.

The companies that are building those pipelines must go through an extensive process for approval.  Ultimately, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC must give their approval to pipelines.

A months-long investigation by WITF's StateImpact Pennsylvania and the Center for Public Integrity brings into question whether FERC is too close to the industries and companies that transport oil and gas through pipelines.  The report found that FERC has denied just two pipeline projects over the last 30 years.

We'll learn more about what the FERC investigation found on Friday's Smart Talk.  StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick appears on the program along with Kristen Lombardi and Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Center for Public Integrity.

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Marie Cusick - Reporter, StateImpact PA

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- If the drillers were required to add the disclosing odor (rotten egg smell) to the gas right out of the well, we'd all know with our noses were the leaks were coming from... well storage, compressor plants, pipelines, etc.

Right now that scent isn't added until the gas is ready for local distribution to homes & businesses.    - Don, Lititz

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