Carlsbad locals seek to stop oil and gas’ harm to environment

Kayley Shoup didn’t recognize her hometown when she moved back to Carlsbad in 2018.

Shoup quickly noticed how oil and gas facilities grew throughout the Cavern City and surrounding areas during her time away, she said brought an array of human health and environmental problems as oil and gas boomed in the Permian Basin.

The prolific shale basin that stretches from southeast New Mexico to West Texas saw a dramatic upswing in fossil fuel extraction and development in about 2017 – driven by the increasingly widespread use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

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The technological advancements allowed drillers to access deeper and harder-to-reach underground shale rock deposits, breaking up the formations and extracting crude oil and natural gas.