Skip to main content

Blowout: A Community’s Engagement with Fracking

Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is a senior organizer for EarthWorks, a nonprofit organization trying to protect communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development by promoting sustainable solutions. Her family has lived in Texas for generations. She previously worked for the oil and gas industry in Ft. Worth, but then left after twelve years over environmental and ethical issues with her employers.  She purchased forty-two acres in Wise County, next to the LBJ National Grasslands, unaware that George Mitchell was producing oil and gas from shale in the area.  She could only sit back and watch as her air turned brown, followed later by her water going black.

Inspired to bring awareness to her fellow citizens,  she began documenting all of the industry's personal effects on her family through a blog, Sharon and her son moved to Denton, Texas, hoping for more protection from city officials, only to discover that they were just as easily seduced by the industry as those at Wise County.  She then began actively working with Kathy McMullen to affect change, and their efforts brought her into contact with the Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project in 2010.

Since that time, Sharon has worked on behalf of her new employers to help local activist movements, such as the DAG and Frack Free Denton organizations during 2014. She is now a certified optical gas imaging thermographer, traveling across the United States to cast light on the invisible methane pollution from oil and gas facilities.  Today, Ms. Wilson continues her activism throughout Texas and the country, briefing national and international representatives on the impacts of oil and gas extractions.  

To learn more about Wilson's experiences, listen to her full interview. Shorter, thematic clips may be accessed through the site's search.