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Award-winning American news presenter Rachel Maddow investigates remarkable stories from around the globe, all leading back to the same crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.
From Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington to Kyiv, Siberia, and Moscow to Equatorial Guinea and Alaska, from a mansion in Malibu with the world’s largest collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia to luxury hotels in central London, from deep within the earth’s crust to the icy surface of the Arctic seas, Blowout uncovers a web of international corruption.
With her trademark black humour, Maddow takes us through the purposeful detonation of a 50-kiloton nuclear bomb underground near Colorado, man-made earthquakes, murdered cows and the international financial crisis, to the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas and a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 US election. Chevron, BP and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson.
The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, 'like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can't really blame the lion. It's in her nature'.
Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidising the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency and to check the influence of the world's most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, 'Democracy either wins this one or disappears'.