The Permian Basin Hosts the Highest Emitting Oil and Gas Project in the World

The Permian Basin in Texas is home to the highest emitting carbon bomb in the world. What are some climate and economic impacts of the Basin?

Source: SkyTruth


Where is your favorite area of Texas?

A few months ago, 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 fourth deep dive on carbon bombs, we take a look at the Permian Basin: a large region of Western Texas and Southeastern New Mexico home to the highest emitting carbon bomb in the world. The Permian plays a major role in driving global climate change, but is also home to local issues from air and water pollution to land disputes to a struggle since the pandemic to find enough workers to keep the oil and gas industry moving. Today, we explore the issues posed by the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin, how the region is responding to related climate and economic impacts, and how this region can move forward in a way that maintains the economic successes, but without the environmental costs. With special guest Dr. Joonghyeok Heo: Assistant Professor of Geosciences at the University of Texas Permian Basin.

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

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Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Naomi Rubin, Ethan Brown

Editor: Trevor Snow

Producers: Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

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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.



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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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