Dark Skies Initiative Recommened Lighting Practices

MIDLAND, TX — March 7, 2017 — Today, in collaboration with the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, located in Ft. Davis, Texas, the Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) released their Recommended Lighting Practices for oil and gas operations in the seven counties surrounding the Observatory. These recommendations are the result of research and analysis of current lighting practices, study into alternative practices more in line with the needs of the Observatory, and conversations with stakeholders of all sorts who support the endeavors of the Observatory. All those involved strive to make sure the Observatory can continue to conduct their research by utilizing some of the darkest skies in North America.

The PBPA and the oil and gas industry of the Permian Basin strongly supports the McDonald Observatory and the research it pursues. Knowing that dark skies are vital to that research, the PBPA and the McDonald Observatory have comprised their recommended practices to preserve the environment the Observatory needs to accomplish its research.

The recommendations were prepared and agreed to by the Dark Skies Initiative, which is comprised of members from the oil and gas industry, representatives from the McDonald Observatory, and the public. The group has been meeting for several years discussing the needs and concerns of the Observatory and developing a plan for industry to help keep the skies of west Texas dark.

“This is the next step in what has been a great partnership between the oil and gas industry and the McDonald Observatory,” provides Ben Shepperd, President of the PBPA. “Now that the recommendations have been finalized,” continued Mr. Shepperd, “we’ll focus on educating our members and the public about the recommended practices, how to implement them, and why they’re important to follow. The Observatory isn’t just for academic research. It’s an institution and one of the great treasures for the families living in the Permian Basin and beyond.”