What Comes Next for Venezuela’s Oil Industry?

The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is home to South America's highest emitting carbon bomb. How does it influence other crises in the region?



How much sulfur do you like in your oil?

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 fifth deep dive on carbon bombs, we take a look at the Orinoco Belt: a 21,357 square mile territory in Venezuela’s Orinoco River Basin home to the highest emitting carbon bomb in South America. In addition to being the source of Venezuela’s oil economy, the Orinoco Belt faces a number of environmental and human rights challenges, many of which are tied back into this fossil fuel industry. Today, we explore the impacts of oil drilling in the Orinoco Belt, what other challenges surround it or arise from it, and how this region could move forward. With special guest Dr. Luisa Palacios: Senior Research Scholar at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.

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.

Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.

Writers: Dain Kim, Isabel Plower, Maxwell Pociask, Ethan Brown

Fact Checker: Sarika Sawant

Editor: Trevor Snow

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

Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings

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.



Like it? Share with your friends!

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.


Leave a Reply