Texas Observer staff writer Melissa del Bosque and multimedia editor Jen Reel spent three months documenting the lives of residents living along the fence line of the Kochs’ refineries. Suffering from chronic illnesses and cancer, residents want to move but no one will buy their homes at a price that will allow them to relocate. They say living next to the refineries is not only dangerous but a poverty trap, due to medical bills, missed work days and wages lost to illness. To make their situation more bearable, residents say they’d like to see more governmental oversight and tougher environmental regulations to reduce the pollution. But Koch Industries has a different agenda. Read KochWorld for the full story.
Jen Reel was an Observer intern before joining the staff in July 2010, first as Web Content Manager, and most recently as Multimedia Editor. She left the Observer in 2017.