Prove your humanity

The Hollerans said they didn’t want the pipeline on their land, and thought that was the end of it.
They were wrong. A federal judge eventually gave the pipeline builder a chunk of the Hollerans’ land, and acres of maple trees soon fell to chainsaws. But this story would take an unexpected turn — one that the family hopes might allow them to get their land back one day.

In the latest episode of “energy, explained,” the new podcast from StateImpact Pennsylvania, Megan Holleran tells her family’s story to StateImpact’s Susan Phillips:

How surprise turned to resolve after the pipeline company said it wanted to use the family’s land. How a court sided with the company. How family members, initially united in opposition to the pipeline, took different sides after being threatened with arrests and fines if they continued to protest. And how the family hasn’t given up yet.

Jon Hurdle contributed reporting to the Hollerans’ tale — “Maple trees vs. natural gas: How one family lost the farm to a failed pipeline project” — which is episode 2 of “energy, explained.” In episode 1, “A very controversial pipeline,” StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Reid Frazier talked with reporters Phillips and Hurdle about the Mariner East 2 pipeline project — its troubled past and its future.

“energy, explained” goes behind the stories of Pennsylvania’s complex and consequential energy economy and the decisions that affect people across the state. It is available on iTunes or wherever you find podcasts.
It’s part of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s broadened geographical reach. In the past year, the public-media reporting collaboration has added two Pittsburgh-based reporters, Frazier of The Allegheny Front and Amy Sisk of WESA, to the team that already included Harrisburg-based Marie Cusick of WITF and Philadelphia-based Phillips of WHYY.

StateImpact expanded its coverage footprint, too, beyond the shale gas boom. Its authoritative reporting focuses on the ongoing energy transition: from the struggles of the coal and nuclear industries to the rapid rise of natural gas and renewable energy.


This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.