April 12, 2022
In The Power of Big Oil, a three-part documentary series that begins April 19 on PBS, FRONTLINE examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of casting doubt and delaying action on climate change, tracing decades of missed opportunities and ongoing attempts to hold Big Oil to account.
The documentary series comes on the heels of a new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) saying that rapid action is needed in order to reduce planet-warming emissions of greenhouse gases and limit climate disaster, and outlining possible ways in which the world can take action to cut such emissions in half by 2030.
“We are at a crossroads,” IPCC chair Hoesung Lee said in an announcement about the report. “The decisions we make now can secure a livable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming.”
FRONTLINE has been covering climate change and other environmental threats for years and across platforms. Ahead of the premiere of The Power of Big Oil, revisit more than a decade’s worth of reporting.
The Power of Big Oil (2022)
Premiering April 19, April 26 and May 3; watch the trailer, above.
(Background photo: MChe Lee/Unsplash)
Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America (2021)
A book by former FRONTLINE investigative reporter Katie Worth on what kids in the U.S. learn about climate change in school — including the roles of oil corporations, state legislatures, school boards and lobbyists — published by Columbia Global Reports with support from FRONTLINE and The GroundTruth Project, and rooted in a series of stories by Worth.
(Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times)
A Tampa Bay Times investigation, supported by FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, revealing how a Florida lead smelter exposed hundreds of workers and the surrounding community to dangerous levels of the neurotoxin.
Groundwater War: New Mexico’s Toxic Threat (2021)
A New Mexico PBS investigation supported by FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative into PFAS — “forever” chemicals — contamination at military installations in the state and the impact on groundwater.
Plastic Wars (2020)
An investigation with NPR and the Investigative Reporting Workshop into how the big oil and petrochemical companies that make plastic publicly promoted recycling as a solution to the waste and pollution crisis, despite internal industry doubts from almost the beginning that widespread plastic recycling could ever be economically viable.
Fire in Paradise (2019)
A film on the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s deadliest-ever wildfire, that examines contributing factors, including climate change.
Coal’s Deadly Dust (2019)
An investigation with NPR into how the coal industry and the U.S. government failed to protect miners from severe black lung disease.
The Last Generation (2018)
With The GroundTruth Project, an interactive exploration of climate change as seen through the eyes of three children living in the Marshall Islands, a nation threatened by rising seas.