We reveal the invisible pollution that oil and gas denies, keeping the industry accountable and strengthening climate movements.
TEXAS – Sharon Wilson and Miguel Escoto are thrilled to launch their new project to aggressively fight oil and gas climate pollution in Texas. Oilfield Witness, is the only organization in Texas with dedicated Methane Hunters. They use optical gas imaging technology (OGI) to expose the dirty secrets that oil and gas does not want you to see. They leverage this intelligence to educate the public and policy makers to strengthen climate movements and sound the alarm on the oil and gas industries pollution expansion. After oilfield tours, state lawmakers and Members of Congress drafted legislation to reign in oil and gas pollution, grassroots groups use OGI videos and our data to fight against drilling in neighborhoods and LNG terminals, and presentations to European banks and insurance agencies helped inform their lending.
Formerly at the non-profit Earthworks, Sharon and Miguel have used their fieldwork to produce their award-winning documentary “Uncovering the Permian Climate Bomb”; the report, A Marathon of Pollution: Marathon Oil’s Decade of Pollution in the Texas Eagle Ford Shale with the accompanying three time Telly award winning video; and the 8-part podcast limited series “Murdering Our Stars” about the Texas Permian crisis. Other recent reports include Fatal Vapors: How Oil and Gas Regulators Cause Avoidable Deaths and Flaring in Texas: A Comprehensive Government Failure. Sharon and Miguel are continuing to expose oil and gas climate destruction and build people power in the process. In the weeks to come, they will share important updates about their fieldwork in the oilfields and their support of climate organizations.
Sharon and Miguel routinely host field tours of Texas oilfields including the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, and Barnett Shale. For inquiries, fieldtour requests, or potential collaborations, please contact:
“You cannot unsee the horror of Texas oilfields. We witness climate destruction directly from the source to build more powerful people’s movements.” says Miguel Escoto, Organizing Director at Oilfield Witness.
“The oil and gas industry brags about the strides made with technologies cutting climate harming methane pollution. We will show you that’s not true.” says Sharon Wilson, Director and OGI Thermographer at Oilfield Witness.
Sharon is a 5th generation Texan who worked for the oil and gas industry in Ft. Worth, but was unaware of any environmental issues. After 12 years, she left the industry and bought 42 acres in Wise County adjacent to the LBJ National Grasslands. Unknown to her at the time was that George Mitchell was experimenting in Wise County to figure out how to produce oil and gas from shale. She had a ringside seat at the sneak preview called Fracking Impacts.
As she watched her air turn brown and, eventually, her water turn black she documented it all on her blog texassharon.com. Sharon and her son moved to Denton, Texas thinking the city would provide more protection. That irony still burns, but it brought her meaningful work with Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project in 2010.
Sharon has briefed NATO Parliamentary Assembly, EPA regulators and even former Administrator Gina McCarthy on the impacts of oil and gas extraction. In 2014, she became a certified optical gas imaging thermographer and now travels across the U.S. making visible the invisible methane pollution from oil and gas facilities and giving tours to media, Members of Congress, state lawmakers, regulators, and investment bankers.
Miguel Escoto Organizing Director Growing up in the border West Texas community of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Miguel Escoto has witnessed the oil and gas industry’s oppression of vulnerable communities for many years. Since 2020, he has conducted fieldwork in the Permian Basin alongside Sharon Wilson.
As Organizing Director he uses this oilfield perspective to support climate movements and foster environmental organizations in West Texas and Miguel is a founder of Amanecer People’s Project (formerly Sunrise Movement El Paso)–a membership-based, power-building climate organization in El Paso, Texas. Miguel was instrumental in the ground-breaking ballot initiative of the El Paso Climate Charter (Proposition K). He is also a founder of the only climate organization in the Permian Basin: Texas Permian Future Generations. The educational materials he has helped produce include the Murdering Our Stars podcast; and the short films They Are Killing Us: a Toxic Tour of El Paso, and Gas Plant Resistance: Origins of the El Paso Climate Charter; and the award-winning documentary Uncovering the Permian Climate Bomb. He is 26 years old and is based in El Paso, Texas.