Last night I watched the documentary, "Haynesville." Directed by Gregory Kallenberg and produced by Mark Bullard, the documentary focuses on the discovery of the Haynesville Shale, a 170-Tcf natural gas reserve located in northwestern Louisiana, and how it affected the citizens of that area. The film centers on three lives caught in the middle of the find: A single mom takes up the defense of her community’s environmental protections, an African American preacher attempts to use the riches to build a Christian school and a salt-of-the-earth, self-described “country boy” finds himself conflicted as he weighs losing his land to an oil company’s offer to make him a millionaire. The best part of Haynesville is the education it gives people who own these properties from all walks of life. A single mom, Kassi Fitzgerald, spoke to a group of citizens about an incident with an injection well in Deberry, Texas. She explained that a small area of that town has not been able to drink water or bathe from their own water wells since 1985 after the injection well broke. She said citizens need to pay attention to not only the monetary aspects of their contracts, but the environmental impacts as well so that assets are protected no matter what may happen. Pastor Reegis Richard, pastor of New Temple of Knowledge International, which opened a new US $1-million building in 2008, points out how his church’s donations increased with time. He says it is naïve to think that the increase in offerings was not directly impacted by the Haynesville Shale. “Haynesville” gives a lot of good information on how oil and gas can help and hinder a community. The stories depicted show both sides of the energy boom in northwestern Louisiana. The director not only spoke with these three people, he also spoke with environmentalists, scholars, and oil and gas industry experts about the impact of this discovery and its possibilities as an answer to today’s energy crisis. It gives a much more insider viewpoint than the one shown in the media. This film is fantastic for those wanting to learn about the pros and cons of the shale boom in the US. Kallenberg did a great job in giving an unbiased perspective about what happens when a person suddenly finds themselves on hidden treasure. “Haynesville” is available for purchase at http://www.theconnextion.com/haynesville/haynesville_index.cfm.
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