Priscilla Villa joins Texas team.
Earthworks Hires South Texas Fracking Organizer
Hiring doubles number of full time oil & gas organizers in Texas
Houston, TX — Today Earthworks announces hiring a new organizer, Priscilla Villa, to help Texans seeking guidance and tools to protect their health and property from the negative impacts of oil and gas development. Since HB40 eliminated municipal oversight of oil and gas operations in favor of state regulation by the Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texans have clamored for help in dealing with oil and gas companies that have no regulators dedicated to protecting the public.
Earthworks is currently the only environmental nonprofit with full-time staff dedicated exclusively to protecting people from the negative impacts of oil and gas operations in Texas. Priscilla’s hire doubles the number of people statewide doing that job by joining north Texas-based organizer and blogger Sharon Wilson (a.k.a TXSharon).
“Our elected officials and regulators protect oil and gas companies at ordinary Texans’ expense,” said Texas Organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “Adding Priscilla to our team sends oil and gas companies, and the state, a clear message that Texans will not back down until our health and safety are protected from an industry run amok.”
Earthworks has released three reports highlighting the alarming refusal of Texas officials to adequately protect public health and safety:
- In 2011,Natural Gas Flowback: the Dark Side of the Boom: How the Texas gas boom affects community health and safety;
- in 2012,Enforcement Report: Texas Railroad Commission – Inadequate enforcement means irresponsible oil and gas development; and
- In 2013,Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom.
In 2014, Earthworks began using a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) GasFind camera toexpose otherwise invisible air pollution in Texas.. The videos validate the health and environmental concerns of Texans living with oil and gas and provide evidence of exposure.
Priscilla Villa is a Rio Grande Valley native currently based in Houston. She is a recent University of North Texas graduate where her master’s research and thesis consisted of interviews with Eagle Ford Shale residents regarding their perspectives and concerns about environmental impacts caused by the oil and gas industry, and gathering information about their health, perceived changes in health, and concerns for future health conditions as they correlate to air quality.
Earthworks is dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.