Does Trans Pecos Pipeline Threaten Marfa Lights?

By Sarah Laskow

Normally, part of the magic of Marfa’s mystery lights is that out on the flats, where the lights appear, there are no roads and no houses. Whatever the cause of the lights—and in 130 years, no one has ever been able to come up with a foolproof explanation—the lack of human activity has been a key part of the mystery of these red and white spots dancing on the horizon.

Right now, though, there is human movement out on the flats. Five miles to the southwest of the Marfa Lights Viewing Station, the low building erected at one of the most popular light-viewing spots, workers on the Trans Pecos pipeline are preparing to lay a 42-inch natural gas pipeline into the ground.

The Marfa lights in the distance. (Photo: Nicolas Henderson/CC BY 2.0)

“You can see the pipe from the viewing station with the naked eye,” says Alyce Santoro, a member of the grassroots group Defend Big Bend.

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