Welcome to the Eagle Ford natural gas field in South Texas, population: uncertain.

Thanks to the worldwide collapse in oil prices, Texas lost 72,000 oil and gas jobs last year. In South Texas, many of the boom-and-bust towns that surround the Eagle Ford natural gas field have since taken on an abandoned feel, strewn with half-built infrastructure and emptied “man camps” that had been erected only a few years earlier.

Season 2 of Van Alen Sessions, presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab, continues with a visit to embattled Dimmit County. Locals and experts alike in the region are all wondering the same thing: whether they’ve witnessed their last surge of petroleum-fueled prosperity.

About This Series: Van Alen Sessions is presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab. Season Two, “Power Lines,” is directed and produced by Kelly Loudenberg. The series is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Connect with Van Alen Institute on vanalen.org.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A map of apartment searches in the U.S.
    Maps

    Where America’s Renters Want to Move Next

    A new report that tracks apartment searches between U.S. cities reveals the moving aspirations of a certain set of renters.

  2. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks at Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  3. Equity

    Why I Found My Community in a Starbucks

    I was reluctant to support a corporate chain. But in my neighborhood, it’s one of the only places I could have formed a relationship with someone like Sammy.

  4. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  5. A house with a for sale sign.
    Perspective

    Why Are Zoning Laws Defining What Constitutes a Family?

    It’s wrong to exclude safe uses of housing because of who belongs to a household. Like family law, zoning ordinances should prioritize functional families.

×