Last year, The Guardian did a five-month investigation into “carbon bombs,” or fossil fuel projects that would, over the course of their life, emit over one billion tons of carbon. They found that there are 195 planned oil and gas carbon bombs around the world, and if they proceed as planned, these projects alone would blow past internationally agreed upon climate targets. For our twelfth deep dive on carbon bombs, we take a look at the Denver-Julesburg Basin: an oil and gas formation in Colorado with the potential to emit 5.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide. The DJ Basin also brings some unique air and water pollution concerns, as well as a fascinating economic reality in a region where — unlike with many other carbon bombs — oil and gas are not the backbone of the economy. Today, we explore the local impacts of oil and gas extraction in the DJ Basin, how it fits into a diverse Colorado economy that is already transitioning toward cleaner energy industries, and how Colorado can continue making progress while sharing lessons with other states along the way. With special guest Dr. Joseph Ryan: Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.
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Writers: Emma Jones, Emma Quarequio, Ethan Brown
Fact Checker: Aana Shenai
Editor: Megan Antone
Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Owen Reith
Ad Voiceover: Velina Georgi
Music: Brett Sawka
The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.