Eagle Ford Shale Region Sees Benefits, Concerns

LAREDO — The impacts of a new oil and gas drilling boom on this South Texas city and the communities surrounding it have been staggering. Towns that didn’t have gas stations before now have multiple hotels. Laredo’s population has grown by one-third since 2000.

“These are not just sudden economic impacts,” said Mercurio Martinez, director of Texas A&M International University-Laredo’s Small Business Development Center. “These are huge.”

Martinez and representatives of the energy industry discussed the boom’s economic benefits for the region during a forum this week at the university. Researchers at the University of Texas ...

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