“Life in the Oilfields” An ongoing series

Oil pump
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Michael Lewis

Former Clean Air and Water Advocate, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

“Stories from the Oilfields” is our ongoing series of collected interviews from residents of some of the oil producing areas of Texas and experts on the impacts of the fossil fuel industry.

Environment Texas traveled to Midland and Odessa, Texas in the Permian to hear the thoughts and opinions of people living and working near fossil fuel production sites. This article is the collection of interviews in our “Life in the Oilfields” series.

Our full interview compilation can be found HERE

Environment Texas met with Dr. Edward Brooks, a physician with the University of Texas – San Antonio and specialist in Allergy & Immunology.

Would you be willing to live next to a refinery or one of these high production areas? Hell no!

– Dr. Brooks, Physician and specialist in immunology

We also met with a group of students at the University of Texas – Permian Basin.

We don’t really trust that the water is really safe.

– James Clendenen UTPB Student


Additionally, we interviewed faculty members at the University of Texas – Permian Basin

We have students who stop out and don’t return, and I don’t know how to get them back to finish their degrees to become teachers.

– Lorraine Spickermann


Oil and Gas attorney and candidate for Railroad Commissioner Sarah Stogner joined in…

What we need is enforcement of the existing rules

– Sarah Stogner

Another resident, Suzanne Franklin told us what it was like living surrounded by oil wells. 

It took our home…and it stole our nature

– Suzanne Franklin

And we heard about how fossil fuel production affects indigenous populations. 

As native people of Texas, as indigenous people of Texas, we have an inherent right to protect the land, the water, the air, the wildlife, so that way our children can have a healthy, sustainable future.

– Frankie Orona


Michael Lewis

Former Clean Air and Water Advocate, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

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