The Fracking Frontier

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A collection of photos by student journalists from Youngstown who comprise TheNewsOutlet.org, and Vindy Shale reporter, Karl Henkel, as they look at life in Texas as a result of the natural gas boom, and offer traces of what this life might hold for Ohio and its citizens.

NewsOutlet Student Editor Doug Livingston, left, interviews Sean Nagel Mueller, 27, of Victoria, Texas. Mueller was flying home  after working his regular two-week stint with an oil company in Pennsylvania.

NewsOutlet Student Editor Doug Livingston, left, interviews Sean Nagel Mueller, 27, of Victoria, Texas. Mueller was flying home after working his regular two-week stint with an oil company in Pennsylvania.


Jack Edmondson, left and Ken Morgan, right, of Fort Worth, along with a handful of friends, enjoyed dinner Wednesday night at Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the city's Historic Stockyards District. The group gets together weekly to discuss the area's hot topics, which often consist of the Barnett Shale, a major natural-gas geologic formation. Wednesday's topic focused on natural-gas vehicles.

Jack Edmondson, left and Ken Morgan, right, of Fort Worth, along with a handful of friends, enjoyed dinner Wednesday night at Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the city's Historic Stockyards District. The group gets together weekly to discuss the area's hot topics, which often consist of the Barnett Shale, a major natural-gas ...


The sign for Westworth Village in North Central Texas bears the logo of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest producer of natural gas in America.

The sign for Westworth Village in North Central Texas bears the logo of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest producer of natural gas in America.


Deborah Rogers, a Westworth Village resident, walks toward a nearby gas well with two of her baby goats, George, left, and Blossom.

Deborah Rogers, a Westworth Village resident, walks toward a nearby gas well with two of her baby goats, George, left, and Blossom.


Al Penska is a resident of Greene County, Pa., and is among many who worry how the land will be left when
this latest gas surge is complete in a generation or so. The lands have been home to coal mining for almost a century, and they know the environmental impact of energizing the country. Now it’s home to Marcellus
Shale. Others in the county see the boom as a source of riches in a county with an 18 percent poverty rate.

Al Penska is a resident of Greene County, Pa., and is among many who worry how the land will be left when this latest gas surge is complete in a generation or so. The lands have been home to coal mining for almost a century, and they know the environmental ...


Mark Cunningham, director of planning and development for Denton, Texas, explaining regulations placed on the oil and gas industry for local drilling operations.

Mark Cunningham, director of planning and development for Denton, Texas, explaining regulations placed on the oil and gas industry for local drilling operations.


David Capps, operations manager at FTS, stands in front of a pump manufactured by the Fort Worth based company.

David Capps, operations manager at FTS, stands in front of a pump manufactured by the Fort Worth based company.


Steve Hebbler, owner of Trinity Safety Supply, discussing the increased demand that he has seen over the years as a result of the oil and gas industry.

Steve Hebbler, owner of Trinity Safety Supply, discussing the increased demand that he has seen over the years as a result of the oil and gas industry.


Troy Young, salesman in Fort Worth Texas, discusses the economic boost brought by the oil and gas industry.

Troy Young, salesman in Fort Worth Texas, discusses the economic boost brought by the oil and gas industry.


Arlington City Councilwoman Lana Wolff said her city was not prepared to handle emergencies at natural gas well pads. A well explosion that could not get capped for more than an hour was the change agent. The city now taxes each of the city’s 300 gas wells $2,400 annually to fund special emergency teams and equipment.

Arlington City Councilwoman Lana Wolff said her city was not prepared to handle emergencies at natural gas well pads. A well explosion that could not get capped for more than an hour was the change agent. The city now taxes each of the city’s 300 gas wells $2,400 annually to ...


A drilling well pad sits in the foreground, just across the street from a regular neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas.

A drilling well pad sits in the foreground, just across the street from a regular neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas.


Gary Hogan stands in his Fort Worth neighborhood where fracking was introduced with no warning — just clanking steel and screeching brakes on the property behind his home. Work continued that first day until 3 a.m. Hogan and his councilman vowed it would not happen again to others, and the nation’s first city ordinance on fracking were born. The Fort Worth laws have been a template for other cities.

Gary Hogan stands in his Fort Worth neighborhood where fracking was introduced with no warning — just clanking steel and screeching brakes on the property behind his home. Work continued that first day until 3 a.m. Hogan and his councilman vowed it would not happen again to others, and the ...


Ken Morgan, director of the Energy Institute at TCU, shows off his natural gas-powered Honda Civic as he explains the benefits.

Ken Morgan, director of the Energy Institute at TCU, shows off his natural gas-powered Honda Civic as he explains the benefits.


A seismic truck, such as this one on display at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, is used to monitor potential seismic activity before oil and gas exploration.

A seismic truck, such as this one on display at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, is used to monitor potential seismic activity before oil and gas exploration.


Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas, who stands in front of the town hall.

Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas, who stands in front of the town hall.


Ranjana Bhandari, left, and Kaushik De have lived off Division Street in Arlington, Texas, for 19 years. It was a nice place, they said. Now they fear for their family’s health because of the numerous gas wells.

Ranjana Bhandari, left, and Kaushik De have lived off Division Street in Arlington, Texas, for 19 years. It was a nice place, they said. Now they fear for their family’s health because of the numerous gas wells.


Lewayne Peterson stands in front of the pyramid home he built in Justin, Texas near Fort Worth with wealth he gained from gas drilling on his land.

Lewayne Peterson stands in front of the pyramid home he built in Justin, Texas near Fort Worth with wealth he gained from gas drilling on his land.