Documentary shows boom’s environmental effects

While the ongoing oil and gas boom may be great news for the economy, a new documentary shows some of the more negative effects the boom can have on the environment and infrastructure as Permian Basin energy companies continue churning away.
The new documentary, “Blowout,” is a collaborative documentary produced by Texas Tribune, the Center for Public Integrity, Newsy and the Associated Press, and is partially based on a series of stories written by reporters from those organizations.
One of those reporters, Kiah Collier from the Texas Tribune, will be on the panel to discuss the film and talk to guest panelists. Collier said they haven’t locked down any panelists yet, but plan on inviting officials from Pecos and Midland, environmental scientists and representatives from the oil and gas industry.
“The series aims to give a cradle to grave look at the oil and gas being produced in the Permian,” Collier said. “There’s a big export boom and so we’re trying to give viewers a look at where the oil is being produced, what kind of challenges are facing communities out there and the midstream process of transporting all the oil where it’s being processed on the coast and being exported.”
Collier said the documentary highlights the impact of the boom from the Permian Basin to other countries like Panama to see how this energy boom is impacting public health and climate change.
“It’s by any measurements an unprecedented oil and gas boom that’s having huge impacts on communities out in West Texas,” Collier said. “During the first shale boom, there was a rapid ramp-up of drilling and infrastructure and now public resources are being strained.”
Collier said she didn’t want this to just be another story of how the boom is impacting people, but to take a global look at the U.S.’s transformation into a major exporter of oil and gas and how they are fueling a demand for fossil fuels at a time scientists are saying the world should be ramping down their use of fossil fuels.
“This export boom has really made the Permian the most important oilfield in the country, some say the whole world at this point,” Collier said. “Texas is now rivaling Iraq and Iran for being a top energy producer.”
“Blowout” will be shown in Odessa by the Texas Tribune at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Odessa College Jack Rodgers Fine Arts Building, 201 W. University Blvd. The half-hour screening and panel discussion is free to attend.
The Odessa American is an in-kind partner with the Texas Tribune for this event.