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Articles by Adam Mahoney, Capital B

Adam Mahoney is the climate and environment reporter at Capital B.

Featured Article

Veronica Leslie, a lifelong resident of Beaumont, Texas, says she focuses on making her home as livable as possible, despite the looming presence of ExxonMobil.

This story was originally published by Capital B and is republished with permission.

When Tara Bettis is at her home in Beaumont, Texas, the 57-year-old doesn’t need a clock to know what time it is. Her body instinctively knows based on the pitches of whistles and bells ringing from her neighbor’s property: a massive, land-gobbling oil refinery and chemical plant owned by ExxonMobil. 

“Everybody knows the whistles — the ones in the morning, the one that lets you know it’s 12 o’clock,” said Bettis, mimicking the sound, bellowing out a resounding “whooo-whooo.” 

“But you never want to hear one blow in the evening, past five or six or seven — especially late, late at nighttime,” she explained. “They blow those whistles then, that means there was an explosion.” 

The bells, smells, and fires lighting the midnight sky from her neighbor are only expected to become more of a nuisance for her and her 82-year-old mother, daughter, and two grandchildren. In Februar... Read more