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Blowout: Inside America's energy gamble

As oil and gas exports surge, West Texas becomes the world’s “extraction colony”

An unprecedented drilling boom in the Permian Basin is great for business. But it’s polluting the air, overwhelming communities and threatening the planet.

By Kiah Collier, The Texas Tribune, and Jamie Smith Hopkins and Rachel Leven, Center for Public Integrity
Pumpjacks at sunrise in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Blowout: Inside America's energy gamble

How a new oil boom is transforming West Texas, sending U.S. oil around the world and threatening efforts to fight climate change.

 More in this series 
Workers prepare to hydraulically fracture — or "frack" — an oil well northwest of Midland. | Kevin Clancy for Newsy
Sue Franklin in front of a flare near her home near Balmorhea, Texas on April 11, 2018.
Sign indicating the presence of poison gas in Pecos County.
Sharon Wilson, senior organizer for EARTHWORKS' Oil and Gas Accountability Project, shows video on her on her laptop that was taken with an optic gas imaging camera.
A gas flare burns bright on a production site northeast of Andrews, Texas.
The spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park.
Fracking water retention pond near Big Spring, Texas.
A sign on Moore School Rd. in Midland advertises frack water for sale.
Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick speaks to a reporter on August 14, 2018.
Ector County ISD superintendent Tom Crowe in his office in Odessa on April 12, 2018.
Early morning oilfield traffic moving southwest on Highway 115 toward Kermit, Texas.
Atlas Sand's Kermit Plant services between 300 and 400 trucks each day. Frack sand mines are a relatively new development on the Permian Basin with between 24 and 30 new mines under construction or in operation since Summer 2017.
An electronic sign in downtown Midland displays oil and gas prices along with current rig counts in both the Permian Basin and across the U.S.

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