Episode 192: Which fuel sources were the most important in Pittsburgh’s history?

Have you ever thought about which fuel sources were the most important in Pittsburgh’s history? On this week’s Energy Bite, Joel Tarr, a professor of Carnegie Mellon University has some answers.

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HOST: Have you ever thought about which fuel sources were the most important in Pittsburgh’s history? On this week’s Energy Bite, Joel Tarr, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

JOEL: Coal was the fuel that made Pittsburgh into a great energy center—but it also did a lot of environmental damage. For instance, there were many days when the street-lights had to be turned on downtown at mid-day because of smoke pollution.

HOST: What’s been the second most important fuel source in Pittsburgh’s history?

JOEL: Natural gas has been important at various times in our history. Local natural gas supplies were discovered in the late 1870s, but by the 1890s they had been deleted.  Then, after World War II, the pipelines named Big Inch and Little Inch brought natural gas from the Southwest into the city and helped reinforce Pittsburgh’s attempt to free itself from smoke. Now, in the 21st century, the technique of hydraulic fracturing has made large natural gas supplies available from local sources again.

HOST: Do you often think about the effects fuel sources have on cities? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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