Amy Sisk

Energy Reporter for StateImpact Pennsylvania

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Amy Sisk covers energy for WESA and StateImpact Pennsylvania, a public media collaboration focused on energy.

She moved to Pennsylvania in 2017 from another energy-rich state, North Dakota, where she often reported from coal mines, wind farms and the oil patch. While there, she worked for NPR member station Prairie Public Broadcasting and the Inside Energy public media collaboration. She spent eight months following the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, her work frequently airing on NPR and other outlets. Amy loves traveling to rural communities -- she visited 217 small towns on the Dakota prairie -- and also covers rural issues here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Two lawsuits announced this week stem from air pollution problems tied to the steel industry.

In one, PennFuture, the Sierra Club and other groups seek to force the Environmental Protection Agency to update its standards for coke ovens across the country.

Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

President Donald Trump wants to make it easier for companies to transport natural gas from places like Pennsylvania to the Northeast.

Amy Sisk / WESA


Some Allegheny County residents use a smartphone app to report foul smells in their communities, and a new version of that app is now available to the rest of the country.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Allegheny County Health Department has fined U.S. Steel $700,000 for ongoing emissions problems at its coke-making plant in Clairton near Pittsburgh.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Amid a weekend of protests after the verdict came late Friday in the trial over the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose, people gathered in Rankin on Sunday to honor the 17 year old.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Kristal Bodenschatz stands tall on the balance beam before she launches into a front tuck.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The partial meltdown of one of Three Mile Island’s nuclear reactors 40 years ago this month left areas of the facility highly radioactive and inaccessible to humans.

Along came a group of young researchers with an idea to send in robots to fix the damage.

Red Whittaker led the team at Carnegie Mellon University, where from time to time he still works on robots for the nuclear industry.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

After U.S. Steel said repairs at Clairton Coke Works are a month ahead of schedule, the Allegheny County Health Department on Tuesday revised an order against the company that required it to significantly curb emissions from its Mon Valley Works facilities.

Katie Blackley / WESA

Pittsburgh’s trash and recycling policies could soon get a face-lift.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

State environmental officials have levied a $1.5 million fine against a natural gas pipeline company for problems at a construction site in Greene County.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The Lewis and Clark expedition is often thought of as a story about the West, but its earliest stages can be traced up the Ohio River to Pittsburgh where Meriwether Lewis set out in a keelboat to meet up with William Clark.

Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Allegheny County Health Department is requiring U.S. Steel to curb sulfur dioxide emissions at several Pittsburgh-area facilities following a December fire that damaged pollution control equipment at its plant in Clairton.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Pope Francis called for an “all-out battle” against child abuse this weekend at the end of a four-day summit that brought bishops and other church leaders from around the world to the Vatican.

The meeting, focused on clergy sex abuse, came six months after a Pennsylvania grand jury last year detailed accusations over a span of several decades against 300 priests in six diocese across the state.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh researchers are working on potentially cheaper ways to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.

So-called “clean coal” technology is expensive, but some experts say it’s crucial to address climate change.


Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and a nearby Department of Energy lab collaborated to model membranes that could be used to filter exhaust gas from power plants.


Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Of the 8 million vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, just 15,000 of them are electric.

Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A pair of environmental groups say they plan to sue U.S. Steel following the December fire at Clairton Coke Works that damaged pollution control equipment.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

If power plants that burn fossil fuels could capture their carbon emissions and store them somewhere, it would go a long way toward preventing greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

That would dramatically lessen the effects of climate change. While many scientists and engineers in Pennsylvania work to develop this cutting-edge technology, it’s slow to roll out and so far exists only outside the commonwealth.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Steelworkers and residents of the Mon Valley packed the Clairton Municipal Building Thursday afternoon for a lengthy hearing convened by Democratic state lawmakers over recent air quality problems stemming from the December fire at Clairton Coke Works.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As residents of the mid-Atlantic and Midwest stayed indoors this week to avoid the Arctic air that swept the region, they used a lot of electricity and natural gas to keep warm.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf kicked off the new year with an ambitious climate change goal: reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.

Pennsylvania is the nation’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide. If cutting emissions to arrive at Wolf’s targets is achievable, it will require a host of strategies.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennslvania

The fee Pennsylvania collects from natural gas drillers is expected to reach a record $247 million this year, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Pittsburgh suburb has rejected a proposal to allow drilling for natural gas under a local park.

The Franklin Park borough council voted 4-2 Wednesday against signing a lease with PennEnergy Resources. The company wants to drill from a well pad in the neighboring community of Economy into Franklin Park.

Amy Sisk / WESA

One of the longest disc golf courses in the world will soon open at North Boundary Park in Cranberry Township.

Sabrina Bodon / WESA

Peoples Gas has outfitted a vehicle that will drive over 950 miles of the utility’s pipelines in Pittsburgh this year using a high-tech system to find places where methane leaks into the air.

Methane is the main component of natural gas used for home heating, and it contributes to climate change when it enters the atmosphere.

Sabrina Bodon / WESA

Gov. Tom Wolf has set a new goal for the state to combat climate change: reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

While the bulk of solar energy in Pennsylvania exists in the eastern half of the state, co-ops are popping up across western part of the commonwealth to help people go solar.

Alex Brandon / AP

This article answers a question submitted to StateImpact Pennsylvania. Have an energy question you want answered? Let us know here.


Tim Lambert / WITF

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania is expected to reach a new high by year’s end: 6 trillion cubic feet.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

From establishing historic districts to offering developers incentives to protect old buildings, Pennsylvania communities have a host of options to preserve their historic structures.

Amy Sisk / WESA

A few years after Polish scientist Marie Curie discovered radium, two Pittsburgh brothers sought to build upon her work by launching a commercial enterprise that began in Colorado with mining radioactive ore and culminated in free health clinics to market the new element.