Drilled is a true-crime podcast about climate change. The show was launched in 2017 and is hosted by investigative journalist Amy Westervelt. In 2019, it was awarded the Online News Association award for excellence in audio storytelling, in 2020 it was named Best Green Podcast in the iHeart Radio Podcast Awards, and in 2021 it received the Covering Climate Now award for audio.
You can listen to episodes and access transcripts below, or listen on your favorite podcast app!
Season 9: Herb
In Herb, a 3-part miniseries, the Drilled team brings to light the history of the Mobil Oil VP who got the oil guys into the corporate free speech business back in the 1970s, Mobil's (and then ExxonMobil's) role in setting the legal foundation for the expansion of corporate free speech in Supreme Court cases from Bellotti to Citizens United, and how that work set the industry up for the argument it's making in climate cases today. Season 9 episodes and transcripts.
Season 8: Light, Sweet Crude
For decades now, the fossil fuel industry has told the same story: Oil equals development and prosperity. Access. Equality. Stability. A better quality of life. As the world’s fossil fuel companies race to tap the last of the planet’s oil reserves we have a chance to examine that promise up close, in real time. Season 8 episodes and transcripts.
Season 7: The ABCs of Big Oil, a collaboration with Earther
Big Oil infiltrated schools across the country. Earther and Drilled take you inside the campaign to miseducate American students. Season 7 episodes and transcripts
Drilled 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. Part 1 episodes and transcripts
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
Season 5: La Lucha En La Jungla
For more than 30 years, Chevron has been battling a group of Ecuadorian plaintiffs over oil pollution in the Amazon. Chevron inherited the case from Texaco when it acquired the company. It was ordered to pay millions of dollars to the plaintiffs by multiple Ecuadorian judges, but instead sued the plaintiffs and their lawyers in the U.S. under racketeering laws. And the story just continues to get more wild from there. This story has it all: bags of cash, secret cameras, bribed judges, First Amendment violations, a lawyer on house arrest, secret tribunals, and at the end of it all thousands of indigenous people with a simple request “Let us live.” Season 5 episodes and transcripts
S4: There Will Be Fraud
In this season we follow the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to use the COVID-19 pandemic to push through its wishlist of deregulation and subsidies. We didn't plan this season, but once we saw how quickly and forcefully the American Petroleum Institute and various other industry trade groups and companies began lobbying for Covid-related regulatory changes, we had to do it. We also launched a Covid-Climate tracker to keep tabs on the myriad federal, state, and local rollbacks and subsidies the industry was pushing. Season 4 episodes and transcripts
S3: The Mad Men of Big Oil
Inaction on climate doesn’t start or end with climate denial. In fact, the only reason science denial worked is because it came on the heels of a 100-year propaganda campaign. The fossil fuel industry helped to create the PR industry, and publicists came up with disinformation and manipulation tactics that they deployed for oil, tobacco, and chemical companies for decades. In this season we trace the creation of disinformation from its origins in the American oil industry to the well-oiled machine it is today. Season 3 episodes and transcripts
Season 2: Hot Water
For decades, oil companies took steps to prepare themselves for a warming world—designing tankers for a melting arctic and re-engineering offshore platforms to deal with a rising sea—all while telling everyone else not to worry about it. Now other industries are suffering the impacts of unchecked climate change, robbed of decades worth of preparation. It’s that unfairness that spurred a group of crab fishermen on the West Coast to become the first industry to sue Big Oil, alleging that their actions to shift the story on climate set crabbers up to fail spectacularly. Season 2 episodes and transcripts
Season 1: The Origins of Climate Denial
In the 1970s and 1980s, oil companies were conducting much of the cutting-edge research on climate change. But in the 1990s their approach, both in research and messaging, changed. This is the story of that shift, and what came next. Season 1 episodes and transcripts.