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Upstream of the Colorado River, 10,000 oil and gas wells have created an industrial wasteland

Let’s take a trip upstream of the Colorado River to eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin, where there are more than 10,000 active oil and gas wells.

Local environmentalists have dubbed it Mordor — a grim reference to “The Lord of the Rings.” The sparsely populated area has air quality as poor as Beijing.

Stephanie Mencimer went there to report on the environmental concerns posed by having this kind of industry just north of the mighty Colorado. Mencimer is a senior reporter for Mother Jones, and The Show spoke with her more about it.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.