Oil is everywhere, and in nearly everything -- our phones, our food, our medicine. It has driven industrial progress. It has also contributed to air pollution and climate change.
For something so ubiquitous, oil is remarkably invisible. To change that, the Planet Money team bought 100 barrels of oil and followed it out of the ground, through a refinery, and into someone's gas tank. Join their journey in a series airing on Morning Edition and All Things Considered the weeks of September 19 and September 26 on WITF 89.5 & 93.3.
The week of September 19:
Follow the journey of 100 barrels of American crude oil from ground to gas tank with the Planet Money team. Venture to a cow pasture in Kansas to buy oil from one of the many small producers eeking out a living in the heartland. The seller happens to be a nine fingered part-time preacher. Learn how the team's oil get tested for quality and is trucked to a pipeline; and visit a refinery and eventually end up at a gas station. All along the way meet the people behind the American oil industry.
The week of September 26
Hear how slickwater fracking was invented almost by accident by a mild mannered engineer worried about losing his job if his well didn't turn a profit. Hear the story of how oil became plastic and is in just about everything now. And get an answer to the question: who really sets the price of oil? Is it speculators? The team ask one point blank.
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