15 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.

"A beautiful ride filled with levity, even as it delivers troubling forecasts for the future" - The Atlantic

2021 Webby Award Honoree, Podcast Documentary

Boomtown Imperative

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 3.3K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

"A beautiful ride filled with levity, even as it delivers troubling forecasts for the future" - The Atlantic

2021 Webby Award Honoree, Podcast Documentary

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Highway To Hell

    Highway To Hell

    Host Christian Wallace takes us back to his hometown in the Permian Basin, which is nearly unrecognizable to him today. We meet a few of the people whose lives have been upended by the biggest oil boom in U.S. history.
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    • 47 min
    Rise of the Permian

    Rise of the Permian

    We go back to 1923, and the Santa Rita No. 1, the well that put West Texas oil on the map. We recount the beginnings of rowdy boomtowns and the swaggering wildcatters whose influence would eventually lead all the way to the White House.
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    • 39 min
    Dust to Dust | Chapter 3

    Dust to Dust | Chapter 3

    A devastating bust transforms the Permian from a promised land into a wasteland. Then, thanks to a quiet, unassuming Texas oilman named George Mitchell, the region comes roaring back.
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    • 41 min
    Life and Death on the Rig | Chapter 4

    Life and Death on the Rig | Chapter 4

    In the Permian Basin, the rewards of roughnecking come with incredible risk. For one Andrews family, that danger became a true nightmare.
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    • 34 min
    Boobtown | Chapter 5

    Boobtown | Chapter 5

    We explore a different kind of boom in the Permian Basin. Meet the women working at a lingerie coffee shop, a “breastaurant,” and two area strip clubs.

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    • 36 min
    A Thin Line | Chapter 6

    A Thin Line | Chapter 6

    During booms, the Permian Basin sees a rise in prostitution charges. But misperceptions and stereotypes about sex work have led to policies that may actually harm the women involved.

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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3.3K Ratings

3.3K Ratings

An Old Texas Gal ,

Entertaining and informative at the same time

I binge-watched all 11 episodes! This was a very well-rounded and thought provoking podcast. I learned so much, and as the author said as well, I was left with more questions. It leaves me wanting to learn more about the Texas Permian Basin. It was told in a relaxing and entertaining way with a wonderful cast of real people from all walks of life in the Permian basin.

ccmcmk2 ,

Want to learn about Texas?

From the content to the accents to the people he interviews, this is a fabulous education about one big piece of Texas. This reluctant newcomer found it incredibly illuminating.

Geumpyhistory ,

Excellent

Great narration, thoughtful interviews and explainers that are an indictment of the troubles with the industry, rather than a knee-jerk reaction that usually serves only to hurt the local people whose economy has been designed to rely on it.

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