As part of FracTracker’s staff spotlight series, learn more about Bill Hughes and why he works with FracTracker Alliance to document the oil and gas industry.
Time with FracTracker: I started in July 2014 with FracTracker, but I have been working on these issues for several years
Education: BA from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia
Office Location: My home in Wetzel County, WV – where the Marcellus Shale gas boom started in 2006
Title: West Virginia Community Liaison
What do you actually do in that role?
My major role is observing and using photography to extensively document the community impacts of shale gas exploration and production on the rural neighborhoods around where we live. I also provide tours of the gas field and do a lot of PowerPoint presentations to interested community and student groups. In over four years I have cumulatively presented to 1,200-1,400 people.
Previous Position and Organization
I am a retired industrial electrician. As an electrician, I previously worked with some coal-bed methane natural gas companies on their electrical control systems.
How did you first get involved working on oil and gas issues / fracking?
We started to become surrounded by the natural gas operations in our neighborhood. We experienced first-hand and close up the massive traffic congestion from the gas invasion, the road clogging truck accidents, air pollution, and muddy streams.
What is one of the most impactful projects that you have been involved in with FracTracker?
I would think that all the tours and presentations graphically showing what shale gas operations, when minimally regulated, look like would provide the most long lasting and powerful contribution to helping others understand the impacts in an active shale gas field.