Alpine High: Fracking a West Texas Desert Oasis

This DeSmog investigative series examines the impact of drilling, fracking, and recent oil and gas discoveries on communities in West Texas.

Alpine High, an oil and gas play announced by Apache Corp. in late 2016, has tantalized investors with promises of billions of dollars' worth of fossil fuel reserves. But the 500 square mile desert acreage leased by Apache includes a delicate ecology, endangered animals, and environmental treasures, which locals say raises questions about exactly how much of the country's natural resources and wild spaces Americans are prepared to trade away for oil and gas development. 

In this series

Church in Fort Davis, Texas, at the base of the Davis Mountains.
Sue and James Franklin run a rock and mineral shop in Balmorhea, Texas, a small picturesque town...
By Julie Dermansky, 23 Nov, 2018
Sharon Wilson with her FLIR camera at a fracking site and a methane flare in the background
There is an LED sign at a Chase Bank in downtown Midland, Texas, the heart of the Permian Basin,...
By Julie Dermansky, 14 Nov, 2018
Water birds land on Balmorhea Lake in West Texas
REEVES COUNTY, TEXAS — Travelers crossing the long stretch of arid desert spanning West Texas might...
By Sharon Kelly, 1 Feb, 2017
Midland, Texas — Monarch butterflies, tiny lizards, and a type of grouse known as the lesser...
By Sharon Kelly, 21 Nov, 2016