S6: The Bridge to Nowhere
A season in three parts about the past, present, and future of the natural gas industry. For decades the fossil fuel industry has been positioning fossil gas (aka “natural gas”) as an alternative fuel, a part of the energy transition, a bridge to less emissions-intensive energy sources. In this three-part season we break down exactly how false that idea is, and the lengths the industry has gone to to perpetuate this myth.
Part 1: Plastic Pipelines
In Par1, we dug into how the fracking boom led to a plastics boom, through the story of Formosa Plastics on the Gulf Coast.
Ep 1: Don't Mess with Texas
A look at how the fracking boom led to a plastics boom, through the story of one petrochemical company operating on the Gulf Coast, and the two women—one in Texas, the other in Louisiana—taking them on.
Ep 2: Erasing the Imaginary Line
Diane Wilson couldn't keep Formosa out of her town, but down the coast in Louisiana the community in St. James Parish, led by Sharon Lavigne, is fighting like hell to keep them out.
Ep 3: And Then There Was Covid
Just as the fossil fuel industry was starting to worry about demand for single use plastics, along comes a global pandemic that they could leverage to push more of the stuff. And they did! But was it enough to save them entirely?
Ep 4: Keeping Oil Alive
The team at UnEarthed, an investigative journalism project funded by Greenpeace in the UK, went undercover and got ExxonMobil execs on tape talking through the company's climate playbook in detail. Today, an unpublished part of that report, in which a former Exxon lobbyist details the company's and the industry's plans on plastics.
Ep 5: Whack-a-Mole
In the final episode of part 1 in our Bridge to Nowhere season, we look at the chronic whack-a-mole problem in frontline communities. Just as one facility gets shut down or cleaned up, another is waiting to take its place. In a lot of ways, the plastic problem itself is a whack-a-mole issue catalyzed by progress in shifting away from fossil fuels in the transport and building sectors. How can policy makers and activists predict and prevent these sorts of problems?
Part 2: The New Climate Villains (coming soon!)
In part 2 of our Bridge to Nowhere season, we're digging into how the gas industry--from oil and gas companies to pipeline companies to utilities--is grappling with its new role in the climate conversation, from successfully marketing itself as part of the solution to being cast as part of the problem. Coming March 2022
Part 3: You Can't Ban Fracking in Pennsylvania (coming soon!)
In part 3, the final segment of our Bridge to Nowhere season, we head to a rural Pennsylvania town that's been plagued by extractive industries throughout its history, from lumber to coal, and now fracking to plastic, and hang with a group of accidental activists who have decided enough is enough. Coming May 2022