top of page

In communities of color, most oil and gas jobs still go to white workers

Updated: Oct 10

“Now we have proof" that communities aren’t benefiting from the industry, and are being disproportionately harmed by pollution. (Canva)

By Terry L. Jones for Floodlight, Grist, Verite, the Illuminator and WWNO

There’s an unspoken promise when an industry moves into any community: We will disrupt your lives, but in exchange we will provide good-paying jobs.

Except, according to new research shared exclusively with Floodlight, in Louisiana’s majority Black communities in the area known as “Cancer Alley” because of its high concentration of polluting industries, the majority of jobs go to white workers. Similar disparities occur in minority-dominant communities along Texas’s Gulf Coast, where the majority of workers are white.

“If one group gets all the pollution and another group gets all the jobs, it’s not really a trade-off anymore,” said Kimberly Terrell, director of community engagement and a staff scientist with the Tulane University Environmental Law Clinic who led the research team.

bottom of page