With 14,000 gas wells and a maze of pipelines and production equipment, the country's need for a cleaner fuel conflicts with the fast-growing cities and suburbs in 23 North Texas counties above the Barnett Shale.
Lowell Brown takes a birds-eye view in this, our first joint reporting project with the graduate students at the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism.
In a 23-county region sitting atop the gas-rich deposits of the Barnett Shale, concerns of water contamination, airborne pollutants, noise and lifestyle changes have coexisted with new job opportunities, rising incomes for communities and their residents, and significant advances by some companies in safeguarding the environment.
Elizabeth Smith met Rebekah Sheffield on the driveway of her Dish home, as odors from natural gas production equipment wafted in the summer wind.
A resident of Flower Mound and English teacher, LaJuana Hale brought a strong understanding of community to this report of the struggle to maintain its quality of life.
A veteran journalist, Pennie Boyett tackled one of the toughest questions in shale development -- is our water quality at risk?
Also a veteran journalist, Beth Francesco Currie explains cement -- the divider between energy and environmental catastrophe.
Sarah Perry digs deep into Texas regulatory culture, and finds little help for those residents who are adversely affected.
Spike Johnson talks to those living near "landfarms," the little-understood practice of disposing of drilling waste by spreading it on farm land.
Striking the balance
In the final installment, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe introduces two key concepts for policy-makers trying to strike a balance between energy development, human health and the environment - the resource curse and the legacy effect.
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