A new documentary takes a look at the eponymous town of Haynesville which has become a center of controversy since the country’s largest shale gas reserve was discovered beneath it. The film focuses on three lives caught in the middle: A single mom who takes up the defense of the environment, a preacher who attempts to use the riches to build a Christian school and a self-described “country boy” who weighs losing his family’s land with the opportunity to become a millionaire.
It’s a tale as old as time, as the movie song goes, and a complex one. All over the world communities are fighting resource developers for their homelands and more often than not these are minority communities or low-income communities but usually they are both. These are groups who have been so systematically oppressed both socially and economically that the offer of cash appears to be a welcome gift. In a time when we are trying to end our dependence on foreign oil, we are looking inward at domestic energy sources bringing attention to the real life impacts of our energy addiction and the need to dramatically cut back our use before we begin looking for more oil. Whether we’re trying to sell a nuclear waste dump to an Indian reservation or mine the mountains of Appalachia, behind every resource war is a community fighting for their lives and their livelihoods. And their lands. Right here in the US.