Publishing on August 10, 2020
Opportunity to Protect A Way of Life Confronted by Oil and Clean Energy
Residents of the Big Bend region of West Texas saw drilling rigs and energy installations draw closer to their rugged and majestic landscapes near the Rio Grande. The year 2020 began as a boom time for oil and gas, as well as for wind and solar generation. Locals feared that all the infrastructure and accouterments of those industries threatened the water and way of life with “energy sprawl.” They’d seen it happen just north of them, and they were desperate to protect the grasslands, viewsheds, dark skies and places for both wildlife and humans to roam. The challenge for the Big Bend region: how to preserve the last wild mythic place in Texas when the state’s laws and economics lean heavily in favor of energy development.
Circle of Blue’s senior editor and chief correspondent based in Traverse City, Michigan. He has reported on the contest for energy, food, and water in the era of climate change from six continents. Contact