Energy Group Endorses Softer Lights Near Texas Observatory

Some oil and gas drillers in West Texas could make lighting less harsh during 24-hour drilling operations in deference to the McDonald Observatory.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported Monday that such changes are meant to protect darkness for the observatory near Fort Davis. The observatory is operated by the University of Texas.

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association, working with the observatory, recently issued recommended lighting practices. Concerns were raised about a surge in oil and gas production and the glare and glow from work lights.

Association president Ben Shepperd said the group's board approved the recommendations involving lighting type, coloring and direction.

Officials hope to keep work-related lights pointed below the horizon to help mitigate light pollution, and also reduce glare at job sites to encourage safety.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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