Naked in odessa texas
In one case, runoff from drilling slush pits created a toxic river that completely surrounded the town of Wink, Texas.
In another, hydrogen sulfide gas leaked from wells beneath West Texas oil fields, asphyxiating 17 people in a single night in 1977. Since the earliest days of the twentieth century, a debate raged over how much control the state should have over Texas’ most famous industry.
Fear that regulatory agencies would support monopoly largely thwarted efforts to create extraction quotas and the enforcement of waste-prevention regulations.
In the popular press, in industry trade publications, and in the Texas legislature, oil regulation was seen as a vote for exploitative corporations. would run out of oil within twenty years if left unregulated.
Texas oil towns were synonymous with dangerous men and illicit dealings. Stories of murder, theft, and drunken brawls were fodder for urban newspapers.
Mirroring the industry’s lawless oil towns, for much of the twentieth century, Texas’ oil industry regulation was minimal.
Millions of gallons of water were necessary to operate drills, pipelines, and refineries. Through the 1950s, wells in the region’s two largest cities—Midland and Odessa—ran dry each summer as the needs of a growing human population competed with the oil business.
At the federal level, better oil conservation law was considered an urgent necessity. In the 1940s and 1950s new technologies fixed many of the problems associated with inefficiency and industry waste.