February 5th and 6th, 2010
Documents the devastating effect that oil and gas drilling is having on the health of families and the environment in the Rocky Mountain West.
Narrated by Ali MacGraw
Imagine discovering that you don’t own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas two hundred feet from your front door. Imagine another shocking truth: you have little or no recourse to protect your home or land from such development. SPLIT ESTATE maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health. Exempt from federal protections like the Clean Water Act, the oil and gas industry has left this idyllic landscape and its rural communities pockmarked with abandoned homes and polluted waters. One resident demonstrates the degree of benzene contamination in a mountain stream by setting it alight with a match. Many others, gravely ill, fight for their health and for the health of their children. SPLIT ESTATE zeroes in on Garfield County, Colorado, and the San Juan Basin, but the industry is aggressively seeking new leases in as many as 32 states. They are even making a bid to drill in the New York City watershed, which provides drinking water to millions. As our appetite for fossil fuels increases despite mounting public health concerns, SPLIT ESTATE cracks the sugarcoating on an industry that assures us it is a good neighbor, and drives home the need for alternatives — both here and abroad.
Artistic Producing Director
Auburn Public Theater