As one of the largest public university systems in Texas, The University of Texas (UT) System has an obligation to serve the state by acting in its best interest.
But it’s not doing its job.
Ninety-five percent of university-owned land is being used for hydraulic fracturing. The UT System has been leasing lands in West Texas since 2005.
As a result of fracking in Texas, nearly 100 million pounds of hydrochloric acid — a caustic acid that can contaminate water supplies — has been injected into Texas lands. And the earth has responded, with an increase in seismic activity in areas that fracking occurs — the latest earthquake being a 2.6-magnitutde earthquake in Irving, Texas on Sunday, Sept. 20.
Furthermore, over 4,350 wells on the UT System’s West Texas land currently produce emissions, as a result of fracking, making these wells active contributors to anthropogenic climate change.
While the booming oil and gas industry in Texas has had positive contributions to the regional economy — providing jobs and funneling money into small towns — the environmental repercussions of the endeavor clout any merits.
By allowing fracking on university-leased lands, the UT System not only enables the ruin of Texas’ landscape, but also profits at the expense of its population.