30 Years Since Oil Shale’s Big Bust

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On a warm Sunday, 30 years ago, news went out on the radio that Exxon was abandonning its oil shale operations on the Western Slope. Instantly, more than 2,000 people were out of work. Today is the 30th anniversary of what would become known as Black Sunday. Other energy companies soon followed Exxon’s lead, and the region was thrown into economic ruin. Within a few years, unemployment shot up from nearly zero to more than nine percent. Tens of millions in annual wages were suddenly gone and home foreclosures spiked. Joining host Ryan Warner to discuss Black Sunday is Andy Gulliford, a professor at Fort Lewis College and author of "Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale."

[Photo: An aerial view of an oil shale operation in Rio Blanco County. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey]