The oil market is in a rut and Texas is starting to feel the pinch. After years of riding high, oil and gas operators in boomtowns across the state have been pulling back in response to decade-low oil prices. As companies slash production and cut jobs, towns in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale regions are beginning to see small businesses shutter and a rise in unemployment rates, leading some to wonder if the current downturn will be similar to the 1980s oil bust.
Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at Grist. She previously covered environmental issues at the Texas Observer, InsideClimate News and ProPublica. At ProPublica, she was part of a team that reported on the water woes of the West, a project that was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University and was a 2017 Ida B. Wells fellow at Type Investigations. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her work on Twitter.