Pipe Dreams: The Plundering of Iraq's Oil Wealth is a riveting expose of the oil industry by Star-Ledger reporter Erin Banco. Banco traveled to oil-rich Kurdistan - an autonomous zone that the regional government claims holds some 45 billion barrels of crude - to uncover how widespread corruption, tribal cronyism, kickbacks to political parties, and the war with ISIS have contributed to the plundering of Iraq's oil wealth.
The region's economy and political stability have been on the brink of collapse, and local people are suffering. Based on court documents and on exclusive interviews with sources who have investigated energy companies and their dealings with government officials, Pipe Dreams is a cautionary tale that reveals how the dream on an oil-financed, American-style democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan now looks like a completely unrealistic fantasy.
Erin Banco is an investigative reporter at the Star-Ledger and NJ.com. A former fellow at The New York Times and the Middle East correspondent for International Business Times, she has covered armed conflict and human rights violations in the Middle East for years. Erin appears in conversation with Danny Postel, assistant director of the Middle East and North African Studies program at Northwestern University.