14 episodes

In a rugged corner of West Texas, billionaire wildcatters and roughnecks are fueling an oil boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics. This modern-day gold rush has sent both big oil companies and scrappy start-ups scrambling to secure a piece of the action. Texas Monthly’s Christian Wallace follows characters along every rung of the oil field ladder, from the executive cutting billion-dollar deals to the itinerant pipeline worker risking life and limb, and from the traveling exotic dancer following the trail of money to those who worry that our planet is on a path to destruction. Meet the people cashing in and those just trying to get by as the world around them is turned upside down.

Boomtown Imperative Entertainment

    • Documentary

In a rugged corner of West Texas, billionaire wildcatters and roughnecks are fueling an oil boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics. This modern-day gold rush has sent both big oil companies and scrappy start-ups scrambling to secure a piece of the action. Texas Monthly’s Christian Wallace follows characters along every rung of the oil field ladder, from the executive cutting billion-dollar deals to the itinerant pipeline worker risking life and limb, and from the traveling exotic dancer following the trail of money to those who worry that our planet is on a path to destruction. Meet the people cashing in and those just trying to get by as the world around them is turned upside down.

    Series Sneak-Peek: The Modern West

    Series Sneak-Peek: The Modern West

    From our friends at Wyoming Public Media comes a preview episode, ‘Ghost Town(ing)’, from The Modern West podcast, where the team goes looking for the ghosts of an old silver mining community called Teller City to see if they have any lessons for how the nearby town of Walden, Colorado can keep from falling into the same cycles of boom and bust.  Why are we so fascinated by old ghost towns? And what can they teach us?
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    Boomtown Follow-up: The One-Two Punch | Chapter 12

    Boomtown Follow-up: The One-Two Punch | Chapter 12

    Christian Wallace talks to some familiar faces from the Boomtown series in an attempt to understand what happened on April 20, 2020—when oil prices went negative for the first time in history.
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    The Last Frontier | Chapter 11

    The Last Frontier | Chapter 11

    Record-breaking oil production in the Permian Basin has brought the boom to the doorstep of the Big Bend for the first time. Is it too late to save this pristine landscape?

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    The Mitchell Paradox | Chapter 10

    The Mitchell Paradox | Chapter 10

    No oil and gas baron since John D. Rockefeller has made more of an impact on society than George P. Mitchell. But this son of poor Greek immigrants who died a billionaire wanted to leave a legacy beyond oil and gas.

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    A Dark Horizon | Chapter 9

    A Dark Horizon | Chapter 9

    Christian talks with renowned business writer Bethany McLean about how the finances of fracking aren't what they're cracked up to be.

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    Wild West Texas | Chapter 8

    Wild West Texas | Chapter 8

    The uneasy alliance between ranchers and the oil industry goes all the way back to the early wildcatting days in West Texas. But today, that relationship is more fraught than ever.
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