Community speaks against proposed fracked gas plant at TCEQ public meeting

November 18, 2020
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Jennifer Krill, Executive Director

Jennifer KrillExtracting social and environmental justice from corporate boardrooms since 1995, Jennifer Krill joined Earthworks as the Executive Director in January 2010, where she leads the organization as it works to protect communities and the environment from the negative impacts of mining and fossil fuel extraction.

Jennifer’s personal mission is to end our dependence on destructive extractive industries by building a cleaner future based on sustainable and renewable alternatives.  She co-founded and serves on the board of directors of Plug In America, which advocates for petroleum-free, pollution free electric vehicles. She also serves on the board of the Labor Network for Sustainability and the advisory committees of the Business Ethics Network and the Western Mining Action Network.

Jennifer holds a B.A. and a B.L.A. from Ball State University, and previously directed successful campaigns at Rainforest Action Network, where she helped protect old growth forests and prevent banks from financing climate change-causing industries. In 2014, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame of Alameda County, California for her work on behalf of the environment.

An avid traveler, Jennifer splits her time between Earthworks’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Earthworks’ field office in Berkeley, California, where she lives with her husband. Whenever she can, Jennifer escapes into the Sierra Nevada Mountains for skiing, paddling, and wilderness backpacking.

Contact Jennifer –
Email: jkrill [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×103
Twitter: @jenkrill
Location: Oakland, CA

Raphael Breit, Community Empowerment Project Coordinator

Raphael Breit

Raphael joined Earthworks in 2019 as the Community Empowerment Project Coordinator. He was born in Massachusetts and spent his summers growing in the woods of Maine and the Adirondacks where he developed a great love of exercise and the outdoors.

After graduating from college, Raphael spent several years in the Boston area, working on local environmental campaigns. In 2012, he moved to Israel for a year to be a desert ecology research assistant at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, which uses regional environmental issues as a catalyst for peacebuilding and coexistence initiatives. After completing the fellowship, he moved to Washington, D.C. He spent several years working with Native American/Alaska Native Communities on a variety of issues, including native education, health, tobacco rights, and poverty before going to graduate school.

He holds an MPP from George Washington University and a BA from Union College.

Contact Raphael –
Email: rbreit[at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x126
Location: Washington, D.C.

Ethan Buckner, Energy Campaigner

Ethan BucknerEthan joined Earthworks in April 2017 as an Energy Campaigner, where he works with communities fighting oil and gas infrastructure across the US.

Before joining Earthworks, Ethan served as Senior Organizer at Stand.earth, where he supported successful grassroots campaigns that stopped numerous proposed oil train facilities in California. Ethan brings to Earthworks a deep passion for movement building, frontline solidarity, social equity, and direct action. For the past decade, Ethan has organized within a wide range of movements focused on mass incarceration and police violence, economic inequality, climate justice, and ending the occupation of Palestine.

Ethan was raised outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he developed a passion for the outdoors, songwriting, and troublemaking. He currently lives in Oakland, CA, where he moved after earning his Bachelors degree from Vassar College in 2013.

Outside of his work, you can find Ethan climbing, skiing, backpacking or plucking his guitar. He is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist under the pseudonym The Minnesota Child and is currently working on a new studio album.

Contact Ethan –
Email: ebuckner [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x127
Twitter: @ethanbuckner
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Ann Corbett, Philanthropy Director

Ann CorbettAnn manages all aspects of Earthworks’ fundraising, from foundation grants to individual giving to the membership program.

Ann joined Earthworks in August 2010, bringing with her prior experience at Women Thrive Worldwide, the Global Fund for Children and Pathfinder International. In addition to her development work, Ann has been a human rights advocate with Amnesty International USA for nearly ten years, currently serving in leadership roles as Kenya Country Specialist and with the mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Group.

Ann earned a master’s degree in African history from the Johns Hopkins University and graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

An avid world traveler who has visited numerous countries including Kenya, Russia, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, Ann lives in Washington, D.C.

Contact Ann –
Email: acorbett [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×106
Location: Washington, D.C.

Phil Dickieson, Donor Communications Manager

Phil DickiesonPhil joined Earthworks in December 2016 as Development Assistant, working with the development team on donor communication, data processing, and event planning.

Before joining Earthworks, Phil worked at Born Free USA, where he supported the development team and worked towards Born Free USA’s mission to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. Phil previously worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at Open Development Cambodia, an online hub compiling and distributing data on economic, environmental, and social development in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.

Outside of work, Phil enjoys hiking, travelling, and exploring Washington, D.C. Phil graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science and History.

Contact Phil –
Email: pdickieson [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x123
Location: Washington, D.C.

Raquel Dominguez, Policy Associate

Raquel DominguezRaquel joined Earthworks in 2020 as the first Policy Associate working mainly on mining legislation and anti-protest bills in state governments. She has been involved in social justice movements since college, where she participated in student government and organized alongside students from marginalized communities. She has a professional background in electoral politics and civic space, particularly within the context of national security and humanitarian aid.

Raquel graduated from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and Political Science and minors in Women’s & Gender Studies and Foreign Service.

Contact Raquel–
Email: rdominguez [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x141
Location: Washington, D.C.

Pete Dronkers, Southwest Circuit Rider

PETEDRONKERSPete joined Earthworks in 2013 from interior and arctic Alaska, where he worked as a campaign organizer on hardrock mining and road development issues for a regional nonprofit organization.

No stranger to Colorado, the Great Basin, or the Mojave Desert, Pete has also rallied in Nevada for federal wilderness protection, energy and climate legislation, and roadless area protection on the National Forests.

The rest of the time, Pete can be found high in the mountains, preferably stuck to the side of some cliff face, or laying down infrastructure on his off-grid homestead in the Beartooth Mountains.

Contact Pete –
Email: pdronkers [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 970-259-3353 x 3
Location: Durango, CO

Nathalie Eddy, Colorado & New Mexico Field Advocate

Nathalie joined Earthworks in January 2018 as the Field Advocate for Colorado and New Mexico. She is an international environmental and human rights attorney with expertise in air quality and climate change policies, indigenous land rights, and public participation in governance. A resident of Leadville, CO, Nathalie recently coordinated a community-driven initiative to connect youth to nature in Lake County. She has held positions at the Colorado Attorney General’s office, World Resources Institute, Global Gender and Climate Alliance, and other public and private organizations.

She earned her D.E.S.S. in environmental law from the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, France, and her J.D. focusing on international law and human rights from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  She speaks French and some “survival” Spanish.  She lives in Leadville with her husband and 2 children, spending as much time as possible outside in the sun and snow chasing kids and donkeys.

Contact Nathalie –
Email: neddy [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x 131
Location: Leadville, CO

Josh Eisenfeld, Corporate Accountability Communications Campaigner

Josh Josh joined Earthworks in September 2020 as the Corporate Accountability Communications Campaigner, working to hold the oil and gas industry publicly accountable.

Josh is a communications specialist, social justice advocate, and filmmaker with nearly a decade of experience in digital media production. He is a graduate of Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communication where he double majored in Television & Film and Biology with a focus in Environmental Science.

Josh began his career as a documentary filmmaker, traveling around the world making films about social justice while also working as a producer at a nationally recognized advertising agency where he played a key role in communicating and developing brand identities through digital media for international brands.

Outside of work, Josh volunteers his time in a number of roles to better his community. Josh is one of two PA Steering Committee members of the People Over Petro Coalition and serves on the Board of Directors for the Three Rivers Waterkeeper. He is also a dedicated member of the Fineview Citizens Council and the Green Party of Allegheny County.

Contact Josh –
Email: jeisenfeld [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x 147
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Miguel Escoto, West Texas Field Associate

Growing up in the border community of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Miguel has been witness to how the climate crisis drives climate migration and the oppression of vulnerable communities. He brings this perspective to his position as West Texas Field Associate–helping bring an end to the Permian Basin’s climate methane bomb.

Miguel’s experience with community organizing comes from his work with Sunrise Movement El Paso, a youth-led environmentalist organization dedicated to transitioning the border region to clean energy while addressing systemic issues of injustice. He worked as a legal assistant to environmental attorney David Baake and his work for the Sierra Club. There, he learned about Permian fracking industry regulation and opposition from a New Mexico perspective.

After graduating from St. Edward’s University with a Political Science and Writing degree, Miguel is based in El Paso, TX. He is a vegan, musician, poet, and US foreign policy nerd.

Contact Miguel –
Email: mescoto [at] earthworks [dot] org
Location: El Paso, TX

Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Program Director

Bonnie GestringBonnie began work with Earthworks in May 2001. For the previous 5 years, Bonnie worked as a Community Organizer at Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) in Helena, Montana. She was a leader in campaigns to stop gold mining on the Blackfoot River and to pass the citizen’s initiative banning open pit cyanide process mining in Montana. She has also provided critical support to residents in Libby, Montana dealing with illness and death caused by the W.R. Grace operation there. Bonnie is an effective strategist with a demonstrated commitment to local communities.

Prior to working with MEIC, Bonnie has been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize and a park ranger in several national parks across the West. Bonnie received a B.S. in biology from Montana State University in 1987 and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 1999.

Contact Bonnie –
Email: bgestring [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 406-549-7361
Location: Missoula, MT

Lori Glover, Permian Energy Campaigner

Lori GloverLori joined Earthworks in August 2020 and has worked with the organization in other capacities since 2018. Her work with Earthworks has included fieldwork monitoring oil field emissions, co-organizing the Permian Gulf Coast Convening, assembling a grassroots delegates team for COP25, and working with the Surfside, TX community to stop an oil export project.

Since 2016 when Lori co-led a protest camp with indigenous partners against the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in West Texas, she has been committed to working with grassroots groups and nonprofit organizations to protect the Permian Basin communities from pollution and increased expansion from the oil and gas industry and plans to continue and expand that mission to Gulf Coast Communities.

Contact Lori –
Email: lglover [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x 146
Location: Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico

Traci Hickson, Foundation Relations Officer

Traci HicksonTraci works closely with Earthworks’ program directors and field teams to communicate with more than 30 foundation donors and help raise more than $2.6M annually in foundation support.

With a strong sense of place, Traci is grateful to work from her home state of West Virginia, where she volunteers to fight invasive species, slow the spread of pipelines and plastics, and help protect farmland and open space. She finds a special joy in music and the sounds of nature.

Traci earned a master’s in Applied Community Change and Conservation from Future Generations University and a bachelor’s in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. She’s a Morris K. Udall environmental scholar and Thomas J. Watson Fellow. She worked for 15 years with an international nonprofit developing community-led breakthroughs in health, conservation, and peacebuilding. One career achievement was raising a $4M grant to engage 60 volunteer fire departments across West Virginia in expanding internet access and computer skills.

Contact Traci –
Email: thickson [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×120
Location: Franklin, WV

Benjamin Hitchcock Auciello, Making Clean Energy Clean, Just and Equitable Coordinator

Benjamin HitchcockBenjamin is the Making Clean Energy Clean, Just and Equitable Coordinator. He began his work in solidarity with mining-affected communities with the London Mining Network, having collaborated as a volunteer, researcher, organizer and advisor for the network and several of its member organizations. Just before joining Earthworks, Benjamin published a report on the need for an energy transition that centers communities on the frontlines of extractivism, as well as broader issues of justice and equity related to the transition.

Benjamin holds an MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development from SOAS, University of London and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic.

Contact Benjamin –
Email: bhitchcock [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×138
Location: Washington, D.C.

Paul Jolly, Philanthropy Manager

Paul has been strengthening relationships between donors and non profit organizations for 25 years. His history as a fundraiser includes building support for The Wilderness Society, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, among other organizations.

While growing up in Oakland, California, Paul spent many happy days in his childhood camping in Point Reyes National Seashore, Yosemite, and other special parks. The love of wild places has persisted into his adulthood. After 25 years in Washington DC, he returned to Berkeley in 2019. He is a published poet and enjoys cycling the same hills where he rode when he was growing up.

Contact Paul –
Email: pjolly [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×124
Location: Berkeley, California

Andrew Klooster, Colorado Organizer

Andrew joined Earthworks in July 2020 as a Colorado Organizer. He is passionate about environmental justice and community organizing, and is determined to apply that passion to the critical work in Colorado of ensuring that the state and local governments are prioritizing public health, the environment, and future Coloradans over resource extraction.

Before joining Earthworks, Andrew worked for the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership in Cleveland, OH where his focus was on connecting diverse communities to urban ecology and park spaces through programming, education, and volunteer opportunities.

Andrew grew up in Northern Michigan and spent his time playing in the woods, swimming in Lake Michigan, taking pictures of trees, and writing stories about childhood pets. He is an avid cook, follows politics religiously, and loves being outdoors. He holds an MS in Natural Resources and Environment with a focus on Environmental Justice and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan.

Contact Andrew –
Email: aklooster [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×143
Location: Denver, CO

Leann Leiter, Pennsylvania & Ohio Field Advocate

Leann, a native of rural Pennsylvania, is delighted to collaborate with shale gas communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania as the region’s Field Advocate.

She joined Earthworks in November 2017 after completing a research fellowship with FracTracker Alliance and the Environmental Health Project. In addition to the valuable experience she gained in that role, she brings to Earthworks a passion for achieving environmental and social justice through participatory, community-based research methods. Her fracking-related research has centered on topics including disaster preparedness, petrochemical development, and fracking’s household impacts.

Prior to completing an MA in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University in 2016, Leann worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a grant and contract supervisor and as a Spanish-English translator.

Leann loves any excuse to be outside, and nurtures a major fascination with fly fishing, backpacking, foraging and gardening, and painting pictures of abandoned houses.

Contact Leann –
Email: lleiter [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×130
Twitter: @LeannLeiter
Location: Canonsburg, PA

Aaron Mintzes, Senior Policy Counsel

Aaron MintzesAaron joined Earthworks in August of 2011 after spending nearly five years as a professional environmentalist.

First with Clean Water Action, and later as the Legislative and Political Manager for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Aaron has researched and lobbied at all levels of government on a variety of environmental issues. After tours with the green groups, Aaron joined the public affairs firm of Robert M. Brandon and Associates where he worked on health care and tax policy reform.

Now pleased to rejoin the ranks of the conservation movement, Aaron assists the policy team with developing and advocating for more responsible hard rock mining as well as oil and gas issues. Aaron was graduated from Vassar College in 2000 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 2003.

Aaron lives in Baltimore with his wife Corinne and son Lazar where he volunteers for local environmental groups and cheers for the Orioles.

Contact Aaron –
Email: amintzes [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×116
Location: Washington, D.C.

Ellen Moore, International Mining Campaign Manager

Ellen MooreEllen joined Earthworks in June 2017, initially in the role of International Mining Coordinator.

Ellen’s path to extractive industry work began in Guatemala with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) in 2005, where she served as a human rights observer. Inspired by the commitment and bravery of local folks who were demanding justice and the right to self-determination, Ellen spent the following decade engaged in international solidarity and environmental advocacy work in Central America. Most recently, she worked as the Guatemala Programs Coordinator with NISGUA where she collaborated closely with communities standing up to transnational mining corporations. Upon returning to the US in 2015, Ellen joined the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, first as the Mining Justice Organizer, and later as the Environmental Justice Organizing Director.

Ellen grew up in rural Wisconsin and spent her college years in the Twin Cities. She earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of St. Catherine and her master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University.

Contact Ellen –
Email: emoore [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×128
Twitter: @eln_moore
Location: Washington, DC

Jan Morrill, International Mining Campaigner

Jan MorrillJan joined Earthworks in January of 2020.  Her work focuses specifically on tailings dams (mining waste storage facilities) and the social, environmental and cultural disasters that result if they fail.

Jan spent 5 years in El Salvador supporting the community based and national organizations that pushed El Salvador to pass the first of its kind ban on all metallic mining.  She also coordinated with dozens of international organizations that supported the Salvadoran anti-mining movement.

More recently, Jan has worked in her home state of Maine helping migrant farmworkers access culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare.

Jan graduated from Grinnell College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Contact Jan –
Email: jmorrill [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x139
Location: Rockland, ME

Lorraine Osinski, Finance & Operations Director

Lorraine OsinskiLorraine joined Earthworks in the spring of 2010. She has spent over 10 years in non-profit finance ensuring that theater and advocacy groups pay their bills and balance their budgets.

She moved to Washington, D.C. from Philadelphia in 2007 where she was a long-time Business Manager for Arden Theatre Company. Other organizations she has been proud to work for have been Justice at Stake and the Capital Fringe Festival.

Lorraine grew up outside of Pittsburgh and holds a BFA in Theatre, from Point Park University, in her beloved hometown. She follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, and all hockey (but particularly the Penguins), with fierce devotion.

Contact Lorraine –
Email: losinski [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×104
Location: Washington, D.C.

Lauren Pagel, Policy Director

Lauren PagelLauren joined Earthworks full time in August 2002 after previously assisting with their 2001 campaign to stop the Bush administration from rolling back important rules to protect public lands from mining.

Before joining Earthworks (then Mineral Policy Center), Lauren helped the Union of Concerned Scientists organize their campaign to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock. Before her time at UCS, Lauren was a part of the legislative team at Friends of the Earth, working on a variety of issues ranging from the Farm Bill to trade issues. Before FoE, she worked on the field team at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

During her time at Earthworks, Lauren has testified numerous times in front of Congressional committees, represented Earthworks on the steering committee for the Western Mining Action Network, and been quoted in numerous publications, including the New York Times and Time Magazine. She currently serves on the Stop the Frack Attack Network steering committee.

Lauren graduated from Vassar College in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Contact Lauren –
Email: lpagel [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×107
Twitter: @laurenpagel
Location: Washington, D.C.

Tyler Rivlin, Community Empowerment Project Assistant

Tyler joined the Earthworks team in 2018. She provides general support for the Community Empowerment Project including data input, travel planning, and community outreach and communication.

As an undergrad, Tyler studied Earth Systems, an interdisciplinary environmental program that emphasized acknowledging and embracing the complexity of environmental problems and developing effective and feasible solutions. She also interned with the EPA – giving her unique insight into some of the regulatory questions Earthworks often grapples with.

Contact Tyler –
Email: trivlin [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×133
Location: Washington, D.C.

Payal Sampat, Mining Program Director

Payal is Earthworks’ Mining Program Director, leading our efforts to reform mining practices through corporate and markets campaigns, policy reforms, and solidarity with frontline communities. She is the author of several publications on mining, water and a sustainable materials economy. Payal represents Earthworks on the multi-sector Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, and on the Steering Group of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Payal previously worked at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, DC, the Global Development and Environment Institute in Boston, and the Bombay Environmental Action Group in her hometown in India. She holds degrees from Tufts University and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India.

Contact Payal –
Email: psampat [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×110
Twitter: @payalsampat
Location: Berkeley, CA

Alan Septoff, Strategic Communications Director

Alan SeptoffAlan joined Earthworks in July 1997 from the National Academy of Sciences. Alan became Policy Director in 1999, Research & Information Systems Director in 2001, and Communications Director in 2013.

Alan has played key roles in many of Earthworks’ successes, including improving federal public lands mining regulations, the No Dirty Gold campaign’s efforts to embarrass the jewelry retailers into committing to more responsibly sourced metals, and working with local groups to pass Texas’s first municipal fracking ban. He leads Earthworks online and media outreach in pursuit of all organizational campaign goals.

Alan holds masters degrees in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Contact Alan –
Email: aseptoff [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×105
Twitter: @drangundsturm
Location: Cumberland, MD

Sophie Shemas, Digital Engagement Coordinator

Sophie ShemasSophie joined Earthworks in August 2019 as Digital Engagement Coordinator. In her role, Sophie helps maintain Earthworks’ digital platforms, including websites, social media, and email communications.

Sophie holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Cincinnati, where she focused much of her time studying environmental justice and the intersectionality of sustainability issues. She’s now based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she’s worked across the state on campaigns to prevent oil and gas expansion in parts of the state disproportionately impacted by extraction and on efforts to protect public lands and wildlife.

Contact Sophie –
Email: sshemas [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×137
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Nadia Steinzor, Community Empowerment Project Manager

Nadia SteinzorNadia joined Earthworks in 2010. Nadia works with a growing movement of homeowners, researchers, concerned citizens, and organizations to educate and support impacted communities, advance state oil and gas regulations, and promote federal reform. Most recently, she has researched and written on the health impacts of shale gas development in Pennsylvania, the track record of state regulators in overseeing operations, and the risks posed by oil and gas waste. Nadia has held communications, research, and writing positions with organizations focusing on social and economic development and land and wildlife protection.

She holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy from Bard College and both an M.A. in Peace and Development Studies and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Nadia lives in Willow, New York, in the eastern Catskills.

Contact Nadia –
Email: nsteinzor [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×109
Twitter: @thesteinzor
Location: Willow, NY

Melissa Troutman, Research & Policy Analyst

Melissa is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker who joined Earthworks as a Research & Policy Analyst in 2018. Her work includes the documentaries Triple Divide, TRIPLE DIVIDE [REDACTED] and the upcoming INVISIBLE HAND.

Truth, Transparency, and Efficiency compose a Holy Trinity that drives Melissa’s work, which includes a seven-year investigation of water contamination related to fracking development in Pennsylvania, published at PublicHerald.org and covered by national, state and local media.

In 2011, Melissa co-founded the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald, which unearthed and released thousands of citizen complaints related to oil and gas operations that were never made public by the state. Those complaints are now mapped and uploaded at PublicFiles.org/complaints. Public Herald’s 2016 analysis of drinking water complaints revealed official misconduct by state officials that leaves families without clean water for months or years. This prompted Public Herald to call for a criminal and civil investigation of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection.

At Earthworks, Melissa applies her research & writing skills to policies that protect communities and ecosystems. She is thrilled to join the ranks at Earthworks, which she considers the most grassroots – and most effective – ‘big green’ environmental organization in the United States.

Contact Melissa –
Email: mtroutman [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 ×132
Twitter: @melissat22
Location: Coudersport, PA

Justin Wasser, Energy Communications Manager

Justin joined Earthworks in 2018 to lead an accountability effort to counter distortions and misdirection disseminated in the media by and on behalf of the oil and gas industry. He began his career in electoral politics, and he has successfully managed races for candidates at a local, state, and federal level. He served as Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania State Representative Erin C. Molchany from 2012 – 2015, where he worked with advocates to advance statewide policy goals. He has organized various issue campaigns with the Sierra Club and Clean Air Council. He is an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow and is based in New York City.

Contact Justin –
Email: jwasser [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 202-887-1872 x136
Location: New York City, NY

Sharon Wilson, Senior Field Advocate

Sharon WilsonSharon is a 5th generation Texan who worked for the oil and gas industry in Ft. Worth, but was unaware of any environmental issues. After 12 years, she left the industry and bought 42 acres in Wise County adjacent to the LBJ National Grasslands. Unknown to her at the time was that George Mitchell was experimenting in Wise County to figure out how to produce oil and gas from shale. She had a ringside seat at the sneak preview called Fracking Impacts.

As she watched her air turn brown and, eventually, her water turn black she documented it all on her blog texassharon.com. Sharon and her son moved to Denton, Texas thinking the city would provide more protection. That irony still burns, but it brought her life’s work with Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project in 2010.

Sharon has briefed NATO Parliamentary Assembly, EPA regulators and even former Administrator Gina McCarthy on the impacts of oil and gas extraction. In 2014, she became a certified optical gas imaging thermographer and now travels across the U.S. making visible the invisible methane pollution from oil and gas facilities.

Contact Sharon –
Email: swilson [at] earthworks [dot] org
Phone: 940-389-1622
Blog: texassharon.com
Twitter: @txsharon
Location: Dallas, TX

Community speaks against proposed fracked gas plant at TCEQ public meeting

November 18, 2020
Latest News