The Texas Tribune takes a deeper look at the oil boom’s side effects


The oil boom has swept across the Permian Basin, bringing in thousands of people from all around America.

For many it’s done wonders for the economy as the Basin produces more and more oil. But for others, it’s not all perfect across the desert horizon.

“Areas particularly Balmorhea, that are kind of environmental sensitive. People there are sensitive to air pollution,” says Kiah Collier, a reporter for the Texas Tribune.

Collier had the chance to take a deeper look at the West Texas oil boom. She says many of the people she talked to are seeing negative health effects from the increase in oil activity.

“A woman that we talked to Sue Franklin. Her home is just surrounded by oil and gas wells,” says Collier. “And she is experiencing particular problems with all the flares. All of those are flaring off hydrogen sulfide.”

Along with health risk, Collier also had the chance to see the effects on housing and the dangers of driving on Basin roads.

“Those drivers are paid by the load, and so they are incentivized to speed,” says Collier.

However for the people she spoke with, it’s the boom’s lasting impact on the environment that really could make an difference.

Click here for the full Texas Tribune story.

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