Some of the information in this story had been reported before, but about half of it is original reporting, as is the narrative framing of the story: Drilled is a true-crime podcast about climate change. In addition to digging up new internal documents from Exxon, Mobil, and the American Petroleum Institute, we conducted interviews with primary sources, all scientists who either worked at or consulted for oil companies during the 1970s and 1980s and could speak to the research they conducted on both climate change and renewable energy. In our second season we moved from the broader story of the creation of climate denial to the story of how those efforts have impacted one community—crab fishermen on the West Coast—and how it ultimately pushed them to become the first industry to sue Big Oil. We’re currently producing update episodes, a series detailing the various presidential candidates’ positions on climate change, and then another investigative series (we’re reporting three options in parallel and haven’t quite decided which to go with yet!)
In the months since its release, Drilled has been downloaded more than a million times; been recommended by The New Yorker, Esquire, and New Scientist; and been quoted on the floor of the U.S. Senate.